Petition for restitution on Poroshenko’s website: Ukraine is not ready for real Europe
It seemed that after signing the Association Agreement with the EU on July 27, 2014, Ukraine sent a clear message that becoming part of European family is her top-priority objective. However, the way to Europe never promised to be easy. The Kiev authorities had a lot of work to do to carry out reforms and bring regulatory environment into compliance with EU standards.
After almost three years have passed, one may state the fact that Ukraine failed to satisfy even a half of her objectives. It is not the objectives turning out to be impossible, but the natural inability and reluctance to be Europeans not in word but in deed. The fact that there is still no restitution law in Ukraine is an illustrative example. Even though it was namely restitution of material values to the historical owners, whether it is in tangible form or in money terms, that was the key point of the association agreement. Every EU member state had to undergo this procedure. Germany paid over DM 3 billion as compensation, Hungary paid $450 million, Poland paid $12.5 billion; Romania, Baltic States, Slovakia, and other countries also had to pay compensation. As for the Kiev authorities, they somehow decided that the demand for restitution has nothing to do with them, even though the law is the same for all and there is no disputing about it.
It is characteristic that Ukrainians basically do not support the idea of giving back what belongs to former rightful owners. In a country with 40 million population, there are only a little more than a dozen people who found it necessary to sign a petition to president Poroshenko that is calling to eventually adopt a law ‘About Restitution’. So, this many Ukrainians are mature enough to be part of the civilized world.
Clearly, when it comes to a sacrifice for the sake of a historic decision-making, nether Ukraine’s political establishment nor Ukrainian society are ready to prove in practice the adherence to European values and ideals. And, considering the absence of any appreciable advances in reforming the state and rebuilding the social consciousness, Ukraine is risking to get stuck in the status of perennial candidate for entering civilized society.