Germany’s increasingly close relations with Russia may well damage efforts by the Ukraine to enter the European Union. Ukrainian deputy Foreign Minister Konstantin Yeliseyev warned that two or three members of the EU are not strong supporters for having the Ukraine enter the body, and he is particularly concerned about the attitude of Germany toward his nation’s quest for membership. Germany is interested in working with Russia to construct a new gap pipeline that will meet the needs of Germany for the coming years. Thus, it is in their self interest not to antagonize Russia at this critical juncture when many nations are furious at what happened in Georgia. The Ukraine is also seeking membership in NATO, an action that will antagonize Russia.
On one hand, Ukraine officials are arguing anything less than its membership in the EU or NATO will send a message to Russia that bullying behavior will be rewarded. However, there is a prior question– how best can the EU work with Russia to allay fears the outside world harbors aggressive actions against its territorial boundaries.? Perhaps, the dialogue with Russia should begin with assurances there will be no membership in NATO for any nation that formerly was a part of the old Soviet Union.
Or, NATO might formally request Russia to enter the body and thus end fears of aggressive actions by NATO against Russia.