ISSUE 1-2006
Alexander Lengauer Отар Довженко Jan Marian Виктор Замятин
Олександр Ленгауер
Богдана Костюк
Rene Kubasek

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ISSUE 1, 2006

Analyst of the Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) Rafal Sadowski was on the 23 March 2006 interviewed by the Russkii vopros journal.

Which political parties will probably form the new ruling coalition and how it will influence Ukrainian foreign policy?

According to the situation reflected in the public opinion pools, we can expect the electoral victory of the Party of Regions of Victor Yanukovych and the good results of the Nasha Ukraina and BYUT.
In my opinion the most probable – despite the ideological controversies – would be the coalition of the Party of Regions and Nasha Ukraina. The reason for it to be formed is the possibility of joining the interests of the actual party of power (Nasha Ukraina) and the party representing the interests of the big oligarchs of the east of Ukraine.
Such coalition would probably continue the actual course in the foreign policy i.e. the European integration and the Euro Atlantic cooperation – with, maybe, less emphasis on the close cooperation with NATO (the very negative stand to this issue in the electorate of the Party of Regions).
Off course, other coalitions are also possible such as: the orange coalition (BYUT + Nasha Ukraina) or the blue one (Party of regions, Communists, Socialists of Witrenko, electoral Bloc “Nie tak” of Medvedchuk). The last one would mean the abandon of the European integration policy of Ukraine.

How will the result of Ukrainian elections affect the relation between Belarus and Ukraine?

I think that only the blue coalition could change a bit the policy towards the Belarus. In other cases there will be rather no changes.
In my opinion the most important factor in the belarussian-ukrainian relations is society. Ukrainian society, especially after the orange revolution, is evolving towards a democratic civil society. That is why in the eyes of Lukashenka regime, Ukraine is joining such countries as Poland and Lithuania that are considered as a threat for this model of power and of the relations between the state and the society that are in place in Belarus.

What are the perspectives of Ukraine joining NATO?

NATO is ready to offer the membership perspective (the MAP program) once the election meet the democratic standards. And the idea is already shared by some prominent people in the Alliance, that Ukraine could become a member in 2008 – 2010.
But the problem is rather on the Ukrainian side. It is the very small support in the society of the idea of NATO membership related with the persistence of the old soviet propaganda schemes.
If Ukrainian authorities want to organize the referendum on the NATO membership for Ukraine, it is quite probable that they will loose – now there is approx. 50% contra and only about 20% for.

Will the new government try to implement Yushchenko's idea of energy self-sufficiency and energy diversification?

Every government will be obliged to work on the economization of the energy. The diversification is a very difficult question and the chances for a real diversification of gas and oil deliveries are very narrow as far as Russia controls the transit for both gas and oil.

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Alexander Lengauer
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