Yanukovich will also do “this”
Five years later after the “Orange revolution” has turned the big post-soviet state face to face to the West, the newly elected president Victor Yanukovich in several months did much to turn the Ukraine to the other side - to a full strategic union with Russia. Is it really like this? Political analyst Roman Yakovlevsky answers questions of www.Euramost.org. Political analyst Roman Yakovlevsky answers questions of www.Euramost.org.
-Until now it was widely thought that ascension of the “orange” became the major foreign-political collapse of Putin. Can Moscow have revenge after Yanukovich took power?
-Yes, it is possible to a certain degree. Visits of the presidents and prime ministers of the two countries became more intensive lately which shows growing warmth of two-sided relations. But we don’t know everything about the results of these visits.
-Do you think it’s possible for some secret protocols to be signed already together with already signed documents?
-I wouldn’t exclude this possibility. Especially after everybody heard the manifested news about the signed documents on Black Sea Fleet which was made in Kharkov by the presidents of the two countries. As if it was Yanukovich-Medvedev pact.
-How can it influence the position of Ukraine?
-Everybody recalled NATO which Ukraine was going to join and how thrilling it was for Moscow. But after singing and ratifying the contract about Black Sea Fleet according to which the term of stay of Russian sailors was prolonged to 25 years, NATO perspectives became for Ukraine a remote possibility. But to tell the truth, quoting the secretary general of NATO this two-sided treaty won’t influence the affair of alliance to both Russia and Ukraine. And that the treaty doesn’t disturb “perspective chances” of Ukraine to join NATO.
We can only add to these words of the secretary general a well-known saying “it’s fresh in our memory but it’s hard to believe”.
Apparently, NATO closed its doors for Ukraine, at least for the long term of Kharkov pact of Yanukovich-Medvedev. A country on which territory there are military bases of a country non-participant of the Alliance can’t be a member of NATO. That’s all the core of the nowadays position of Ukraine in which it has got now.
-Well, it’s all clear with NATO perspectives for Ukraine. And how did Europe meet the results of the presidential elections in Ukraine?
-They were recognized democratic, faithful and meeting all generally accepted standards. But we shouldn’t forget that first officially Yanukovich visited Brussels, not Moscow as it was expected. Nobody believed his explanations that it happened not on purpose. Here we should mention that European Union availed a special 18 points program to Ukraine and fulfillment of this program (with strict dates) will be a real European integration. This document was coordinated and signed by the two sides. But to tell you the truth some personnel and structure changes in this direction in Kiev puzzled.
-What do you mean?
-Dismissals of the representatives of Ukraine in European Union and NATO according to the decree of the president which happened not long time ago can be understood somehow, because there other ruling power appeared in Kiev, but the other actions are not clear enough. For example, Yanukovich decidedly liquidated the post of vice prime minister of European integration and the whole bunch of structures which especially dealed with integration of Ukraine and NATO. I suppose that such “cleaning” can happen in other spheres soon.
-And where else people were working upon integration with Europe?
-Different structures of civil society play a great role in it. For example, different non-governmental organizations of different specializations, research centers, institutes and, of course, mass media. Unfortunately, the information about the willingness of the authorities to put in censorship appeared lately. The freedom of speech in Ukraine which president Yuschenko was very proud about was placed in doubt in several months. International organizations like “Reporters without borders” and other began to speak about it already. Belarusian experience shows that processes of “tightening the screws” or, as the authorities like to name it “consolidation and stability of society” inevitably touch all the institutes of civil society. So I’m afraid that after the liquidation of freedom of speech in Ukraine, numerous foreign representatives, funds and other “foreign matters” which mingle the authoritarian regime will be closed soon. And the authoritarian regime in Ukraine grows like a house on fire and we can see it on Ukrainian TV channels. The freedom of speech is still there, but the freedom of mass media is almost gone.
-Don’t you hurry to call the nowadays ruling power in Ukraine an authoritarian regime? There is a multy-party parliament – Supreme Rada, where they just fight for truth. Isn’t it?
Yes, today Ukraine isn’t a presidential republic. According to the working constitution, the rights of the head of the country are essentially limited by the parliament and government. But it’s obvious that today’s majority in Rada and puppet government isn’t enough to satisfy the fourth president of Ukraine, who wants to rule more lively, emphatically and without looking back. As some of his colleagues do. After all, Yanukovich became a president with only 3 percent of votes. And such a vast protest electorate will stimulate Yanukovich more and more to do “this”. It means changing the nowadays constitution to a new one with imperial powers of a president. But it is still very difficult to imagine how it can happen in Ukraine.
Aleksandr Martinkievich.