26 November 2013

Ukraine - A long cold period of discontent is ahead

So.....the President and government of Ukraine decided to cancel any further negotiations with the EU.
The signing of the Association Agreement is off the table. It would appear that the government are just too afraid of the consequences, i.e. the threats they have received from the Russian Federation and Mr Putin in particular cannot be ignored. The Russians are very good at threats and maybe we will never know just what took place in the 'secret' meeting between Yanukovych and Putin recently.

The EU officials have wasted a lot of time in trying to persuade Ukraine to forge closer links with western Europe. But maybe they still fail to understand the kind of people they have been dealing with in Ukraine.
Ukraine leaders are not seasoned or experienced politicians or negotiators. They are rough 'lets just see what's in it for us' characters. They do not think about the future of the country and its people. They do not think long term. The Russians and the Ukrainians certainly think alike. The Russians know only too well how to persuade their Ukrainian 'friends' to make decisions.

Yanukovych has agreed something with Putin. Maybe Yanukovych was forced to make a decision under severe duress. He needs to think about his personal future and just exactly where he will spend his retirement years. The Russian Federation is perhaps the only country where he could be safe.

Ukrainian people have taken to the streets of Kyiv to protest against the decisions made by their government. It is good to see people protesting for what they consider to be their future being taken away by a government/president that fails to understand them.

With just a few days to go before the meeting in Vilnius, I doubt if Yanukovych will change his mind and dare to incur the rath of Vladimir Putin. Therefore I can only conclude that Ukraine is in for a long cold period of discontent until at least 2015. When an election must be held to select a President.

15 November 2013

Time to reject the evil empire

Another interesting week in the life of Ukraine. The President Victor Yanukovych and his Prime Minister Mykola Azarov are clearly afraid of the implications of entering into an Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU. Due to be signed in Vilnius later this month.

Many of their loyal supporters are already complaining of the problems they are experiencing with their Russia clients/customers. The Russians – or should I say one in particular – President Vladmir Putin is making things as difficult as possible for all Ukrainian related matters. Putin will do almost anything to stop the whole process of Ukraine getting closer to the EU. Understandably many Ukrainians in the Eastern region are afraid of any deterioration in relations with their close cousins in the Russian Federation.

But it would appear many Ukrainians are only too ready to forge a closer relationship with Western Europe and are ready to sever all links with the ‘evil empire’. Unfortunately the President, Prime Minister and many members of parliament will be influenced in their decision making by short term thinking and will totally ignore the population of Ukraine.  The decision(s) will be taken based on the ‘what’s in it for us’ approach.

There is still time for Ukraine to step into the future by signing the agreement or if not running back into the arms of the evil empire.

05 November 2013

Agreement with the EU is the only way forward.

Ukraine has no choice at this late stage but to sign the AA and DCFTA with the EU later this month. It is the only way forward for the country. Help from the IMF will be sure to follow. BUT.....if for some strange reason the President of Ukraine fails to ensure that former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is released from prison and given a FULL pardon, then do not be surprised if the EU decide not to go along with signing any agreements.

The president, the government, members of parliament and the people of Ukraine need to understand that Yulia Tymoshenko MUST be released without any conditions being attached.