Mick Wallace The #US and #EU are increasingly using #sanctions as a weapon against countries that don't bow to their financial i… https://t.co/qMbVI1XYfc
Mick Wallace How bad that the #EU of the so called 'European Values' has supported this Terrorism against the people of #Syriahttps://t.co/wRXMSubfYi
Mick Wallace Western Colonialism never really stopped, it just got a make over - It's now called 'Financial Imperialism'. Are we… https://t.co/KoMpQ69bBw
Mick Wallace RT @wallacemick: Would mean something for Irish people and the notion of 'Irish Neutrality' if Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs @simoncov

Dáil Diary no 8- 30 Jan. 15

Hypocrisy of EU approach to Ukraine…

There was a time when Ireland behaved like a neutral country, and was perceived to be a neutral country – But sadly, that’s long gone. Now, successive Governments have abandoned our position of neutrality, and taken the side of the US Military machine which has caused untold havoc, worldwide. Since 1980, the US has invaded and bombed 23 countries- doing a lot to promote the American arms industry, but doing nothing for world peace. As always in these situations, it is women and children who suffer most from these mindless military projects. Today in Ukraine, it is the ordinary people who are suffering, as the US/EU battle for supremacy with Russia. Both sides care nothing for the Ukrainian people, but both are hell bent on perusing their own interests, oblivious to the hardship being inflicted on the ordinary people. A pity the US, EU and Russia wouldn’t stop interfering in the internal affairs of Ukraine. Here’s my Dáil contribution this week on the EU Trade agreement with Ukraine.-

The biggest story in Europe at the moment is the success of Syriza in Greece and I, too, congratulate them. The challenges it faces will be great given the powers that are stacked against it. It is a symbol that many people in Europe today are not happy with the powers of the banks and the wholesale sacrifice of our collective social good in the name of so-called free market forces. We have seen an anti-social, neoliberal agenda imposed across Europe and here, and at this stage many people in Europe have seen enough of it.

It is also indicative that this week Ireland will ratify the European Union-Ukraine Association Agreement that has been at the centre of the troubles in Ukraine. The agreement is part of a wider narrative about the role of powerful but unelected forces such as the IMF, the European Central Bank, ECB, and the fossil fuel industry interfering in wide-ranging policies of sovereign states. If people want to live in a society that is worth believing in or a sovereign democracy that is worthy of the name, they need to have independence from these unelected powers.

The agreement is just the next stage in the struggle for control of a country whose political, financial and infrastructural problems are being used as a pretext to exploit the situation for private gain. Ukraine is a pawn in what is essentially a colonial stand-off between Russia and the West as the United States and the EU attempt to dig their teeth deeper into the former Soviet bloc. People have forgotten that over 20 years ago when Gorbachev did the deal with the West, they agreed that they would not impose on the countries around the Soviet Union in the interest of peace, but that is exactly what has gone on for the past 20 years, and they have gone even further into that area and destabilised the region.

The trade deal ignores the fact that tensions between East and West inside Ukraine are far from resolved, with many commentators arguing that the pro-Russian eastern region will lose out massively as a result of the agreement, causing further destabilisation. Like all the international trade deals of late, they are not so much about trade as writing into law the primacy of the rights of corporations above those of citizens. We are also looking at the TTIP coming our way.
The Ukraine agreement will do away with restrictions on trade and production, the purpose of which is to protect the citizenry. It will also facilitate the export of Ukrainian shale gas to Europe by the biggest polluter in the world, Shell Chevron and friends, regardless of the consequences for the communities getting "fracked" or the planet being cooked. Shell has signed the biggest shale gas contract in Europe, a €10 billion deal in Ukraine where it will drill 15 test wells.

The question for us today is why, in the name of God, we are taking part in this expansionist economic war between Russia, the EU and the US. What do we have to gain? Is it for lower prices on dirty gas that we should not even be burning or a pat on the head from the US?

Why take part in sanctions against Russia and protest its abuses against the human rights of Ukrainians when that is obviously not the Minister's concern? Saudi Arabia has chopped the heads off over 2,000 people since 1985 for offences such as witchcraft and discussing atheism in public, and we have no problem doing business with it. Israel murdered 500 children in Palestine last summer, and we do not have a problem doing business with it. The Minister, Deputy Bruton, made the answer to these questions clear to me here last year, re Saudi Arabia,when he said that trade missions were no place to discuss these kind of issues, which means that where there is money to be made there is no place for human rights. Following that logic, what hope is there for the people of Ukraine?

Ratifying this trade deal will only subject Ukraine to unfettered exploitation by unaccountable corporations, destablilise the region further and entrench us more deeply as partisans in a new cold war that we should have nothing to do with.”

Mick Wallace.

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