Disinfo: The Association Agreement destroyed Ukrainian economy, it became a Western colony

Summary

Almost six years have passed [since the Association Agreement was signed between Ukraine and the EU]. What did this widely advertised agreement give to Ukraine? Judge for yourself. Ukraine has become the poorest country in Europe and one of the poorest in the world. The Ukrainian economy was destroyed. Investments fell to zero. This means that the country has essentially become a colony of the West and has lost its independence.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Ukraine and its relations with the European Union.

In June 2014, the EU and Ukraine signed an Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), which promotes deeper political ties, stronger economic links and the respect for common values. Since 2014, the EU and the Financial Institutions have mobilised more than €15 billion in grants and loans to support the reform process, with strong conditionality on continued progress. See here for more details about EU-Ukraine relations.

Since 2016, there has been a steady increase in the export of more value added products, such as machinery and appliances and transport equipment, while the number of companies exporting to the EU has increased from 11,700 companies in 2015 to more than 14,500 companies in 2019.

The total trade turnout increased to 52.6 bln USD in 2019. During 2015-2019, Ukraine also increased its export to the EU from 13 bln USD to 24 bln USD. Overall in 2019, Ukrainian export to the EU increased by 3.9%. Now, the EU accounts for almost half of Ukrainian export. The EU remains a key trading partner of Ukraine with a share of 40.1%. See here for more details about EU-Ukraine trade relations.

According to the World Bank, foreign direct investment in Ukraine decreased since 2013, with the lowest amount in 2014. However, they have not fallen to zero: 3.4 bln USD in 2016, 2.8 bln USD in 2017 and 2.4 bln USD in 2018.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 197
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/05/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: EU, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Ukraine, economy, Abandoned Ukraine, Economic difficulties, Euromaidan, Ukrainian statehood
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Euromaidan was initiated to lower Ukraine’s living standards

Now everyone understands why the Maidan was needed. It was necessary to lower the standard of living of Ukrainians. It has to be so low that they [Ukrainians] must be very happy to go to Europe [and earn money there]: to plow the land for 16 hours a day and to be bent over in the fields under the sun.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the 2013-14 Ukrainian revolution.

The demonstrations which began in Kyiv in November 2013 – called "Maidan", or "Euromaidan" – were a result of the Ukrainian people's frustration with former President Yanukovych's last-minute U-turn when, after seven years of negotiation, he refused to sign the EU–Ukraine Association Agreement and halted progress towards Ukraine's closer relationship with the EU due to Russian pressure.

The EU is not helping, but you should not ask for Russian help

Brussels wanted to convince the Western Balkans that it is not “right” to ask for Russian help. The EU organised a summit to convince the Balkan states that aid from Russia and China is not about helping them; instead, it is aimed at “strengthening their positions on the continent.” When Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia asked for EU help to combat the crisis, Brussels did not do anything, but now the EU demanded that they take part in a video conference.

Disproof

The claims made in this article are broadly similar to recurring narratives about the EU's complete failure to respond to the coronavirus crisis.

The EU is providing an EUR 3.3. billion package for the Western Balkans, including financial help to their healthcare sectors and exclusive access to EU instruments and medical equipment.

Western scientists predict accident at Ukrainian NPPs with 80% probability

The specialised journal Energy Research & Social Science, published by the Dutch company Elsevier, directly predicts a major nuclear accident at a Ukrainian nuclear power plant in the coming years, with a probability of 80%. The most dangerous, from the point of view of Western experts, are the Rivne and South Ukrainian NPPs.

Disproof

Disinformation misrepresenting the study of the journal of Energy Research & Social Science.  

The scientific journal Energy Research & Social Science published the study “Reassessing the Safety of Nuclear Energy” in 2016, which assesses global risks in the nuclear industry. The authors of the publication did not focus on individual countries but analysed the situation as a whole. A group of scientists concluded that "the rate of civil nuclear accidents over time since 1952 decreased significantly from the 1970s, reaching what appears to be a stable level of around 0.003 events per plant per year...We find concrete evidence of a history of learning from previous accidents within the industry, especially the significant reduction in event frequency after the Chornobyl accident in 1986," the article says. The study does not contain any other references to Ukraine or the words “80% probability of a major accident at Ukrainian nuclear power plants”.