ISSUE 1-2016
Bogdana Kostyuk Roman Temnikov
Igor Yakovenko Gleb Cherkasov
Bogdan Oleksyuk Ľubor Matejko
Лубор Матейко
Pavel Venzera

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles and/or discussions are those of the respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views or positions of the publisher.

By Pavel Venzera | Researcher in Politics, the Czech Republic | Issue 1, 2016

We have more than two years observed ups and downs Ukrainian story. After the heroic fight at Maidan, giving to the country another opportunity to change its destiny, new President was elected and new government was formed. Perhaps the first problem occurred particularly here. However, Ukrainians managed to expel Yanukovych and tell thank you to Yulia Tymoshenko, other persons from the past came to power and often brought old bad habits with them. One of these habits is a strong inclination of a big part of Ukrainian establishment to the corruption that is bigger threat than all Russian soldiers and separatists in Eastern Ukraine together.

The West was very patient at the beginning of a new stage of its relationship with new Ukrainian leadership that has proclaimed its strong decision to realize radical reforms and lead country steadfastly towards the European integration. Initial proclamations and good will have been step by step covered by alarming news coming from Kyiv: corruption continued to devour Ukrainian state, coalition faced problems with its unity and agility, situation in justice was horrible, reforms were going on very slowly, Ukrainian politicians started speaking English but it was almost the only change which happened with them, strange people moved around and were presented in Presidential administration as well as in the government, etc.

There are no doubts that Ukraine has reached some positive results (improvement of the condition of energy sector, much better condition of Ukrainian army, certain positive movement in economic sphere, signing of Association agreement, etc.) but irresponsible behaviour of Ukrainian politicians have devaluated reached successes.

Pictures from Verkhovna Rada where 450 persons looking more like Cossacks of Saporog Are Drafting a Manifesto than deputies, Arseniy Yatsenyuk like The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote in the role of Prime Minister, Petro Poroshenko like a tomcat Leopold in the role of President have not aroused too much optimism.

Ukrainian politicians, captivated by their perpetual plots and senseless Batrachomyomachia, as though do not understand how mercilessly clock in Brussels runs fast. Every waste day deteriorates position of Ukraine as a reliable partner of the EU and increases hope of Russia that improvement of the relationship with Brussels will be able without regard to Ukraine.

European supporters of this variant and the lifting of sanctions against Russia in the EU can put on the table very clear objections: is it really worth to have useless problems with Russia due to such problematic state as Ukraine is? Maybe it would be better to make some deal with Moscow concerning Ukraine and to forget it?

It is necessary to cease to think that the EU will continue the co-operation ignoring negative processes going on in Ukraine and will prolong sanctions against Russia, keeping Moscow on a tight rein, automatically. Eventually, it is also essential to understand that the co-operation and prolongation of sanctions is predominately in Ukrainian hands. If the sanctions are not prolonged and the co-operation starts failing Ukrainian politicians should not accuse Brussels because people who caused such development sit predominantly in Kyiv.    

Important part of Ukrainian establishment is certain that Europe cannot live without Ukraine because Ukraine is a shield of Europe against Russia. It is necessary very loudly to say: “wake up, friends”. However, Europe wants to see Ukraine in community of democratic and prosperous European countries, it can also live without Ukraine as it lived without it for long ages.  Do not rely on your false illusions, world is much more pragmatic. The EU has a lot of own problems that they must be solved and Ukraine is not number one in this group.

Moreover, the EU is rather frustrated by the fact that it has not been able to reach some positive results on the territory of former U.S.S.R. yet and it needs eventually some success story. If Ukraine is not able to turn itself into such kind of story, and Ukrainian politicians have really made a lot for it, the EU will look for other possibilities.

Why the West so strongly supported Visegrad countries at the beginning of 90ies? The reason was very simple - Western countries saw that new democracies were working hard trying to change their destiny and they were also able to find and demonstrate internal unity if it was necessary.

It is important to be aware that one of the key principle of the co-operation between the EU and Eastern Partnership countries more for more can have also its opposite meaning less for less and it could be a problem for Ukraine.

By the way, Kiev should thoroughly observe traffic between Brussels and Baku, Minsk or Tbilisi. These countries have sometimes their specific terms for such co-operation but on the whole they are ready. Moreover, e.g., Azerbaijan does not only ask it brings concrete important contribution to the co-operation. If Ukraine remains at the end of the peloton or outside, it can face very big economic, social and political problems threatening its sovereignty.

Politicians in Kyiv should forget Cossack’s past of Ukraine and to pay bigger attention to example of the Kievan Rus. This tradition leads towards the stable and respected state. Cossacks are out of fashion whereas Duke Vladimir the Great is a very different glass of kvas.

Ukrainian politicians have lost a lot of valuable time but they have not lost all time, although the last call is not too far. Ukraine does not need either new Maidan or early election. It needs unity, conceptual and hard work. It would be unpardonable sin if current establishment did not use offered chance.

Particularly today when Vladimir Putin will in near future have to solve different problems than to wage undeclared war against Ukraine. Perhaps he should not resist temptation to solve his internal problems with help a short victorious war but it would mean ominous consequences for him.  

Current Ukrainian politicians should finally understand its historic responsibility, finish as soon as another ministerial reshuffle and start acting.  Continuation of today´s political marasmus is really very dangerous and it heads towards new dependence on Moscow. Ukrainians undoubtedly deserve better destiny.

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