Betting on Ukraine

KYIV – A year ago, young Ukrainians were risking their lives on Kyiv’s Independence Square to defend an agreement that would bring their country closer to the European Union. That uprising ended a corrupt regime and brought to power – after a free and fair election – what appears to be Ukraine’s most reform-minded government ever.

One might have expected the heroic commitment of Ukrainians to Europe’s democratic ideals to trigger a rush of Western support for the country in its battle against Russian aggression and economic instability. But that has not been the case. Indeed, though the last EU leadership summit of 2014 brought the courageous decision to “stay the course” on Russian sanctions, it produced little movement on aid to Ukraine.

Donald Tusk, the former Polish prime minister who was chairing his first summit as President of the European Council, supports additional financing for Ukraine. But, as the Financial Times reports, several EU countries’ willingness to come up with the money remains “lukewarm at best.”

When confronted with a debt crisis in the eurozone, European leaders repeatedly kicked the can down the road. The result was an unnecessarily deep and protracted recession. Now, they are about to make the same mistake in Ukraine, with even more devastating potential consequences.