November 19, 2014

“The Future of Ukraine Has Not Become Safer”

The Independent Analytical Center for Geopolitical Studies “Borysfen Intel” affords ground to the analysts generation for expressing their point of view regarding the political, economic, security, information situation in Ukraine and in the world in general, according to their personal geopolitical studies and analyses.


Note that an authors’ point of view
can disagree with the editor’s one

Paul Sandulesku

Our Romanian neighbors, carefully watching the life of Ukraine, are trying not to miss a single important event, which is understandable: they are far from indifferent to what is going on at the walls of their European home. After all, by and large, at stake is not only our, but also their well-being. Illustrative example of the attention to us is Paul Sandulesku's article “The parliamentary elections in Ukraine” on the Elections for the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada, which appeared in the bulletin “Geostrategic Pulse” of our Romanian partners — the consulting company “INGEPO Consulting”.

The author points out that the results of our early parliamentary elections are not unexpected, with very few exceptions. Ukraine's pro-European parties have received a high percentage of the vote, thus securing their participation in the coalition government. However, the author says, “the future of Ukraine has not become safer overnight. Rather the contrary”. After a few weeks after the election, we can say that P. Sandulesku is not far from the truth. Unfortunately.

It must be emphasized that, like many watching events in Ukraine and around it, he was disappointed with the electoral success of former members of the Party of Regions. “It's strange that 9.62 % of the electorate voted for the pro-Russian “Opposition Bloc”, headed by Yuriy Boyko, a former ally of President Viktor Yanukovych”, says P. Sandulesku, at the same time stating that for the first time in the history of Ukraine's independence, due to lack of votes, Communists won't be in the Parliament. By the way, for Romania this fact is significant, if we think of the events that took place on its territory in the late 1980s, and resulted in removal of Ceausescu from power. At that time Romanians managed to step over a lot of things, even over the not quite “legitimate” sentencing his soon after executed dictator, for what they were blamed then by some people. Having stepped over, they proved that “the game was worth the candle”, because soon their country began to move confidently in the right, civilized direction.

Having pointed out that Ukraine will have to do something similar, P. Sandulesku made a passing mention of the main problem of the current Ukrainian community, dreaming of the European way of development — Russia's not agreeing to the Ukrainian choice.

“Russia recognizes the results of the parliamentary elections — writes the analyst, — but it points out the priority directions in which it wants the new Ukrainian government to move”. And this phrase summarizes what is happening today in Ukraine — after Maydan's sobering, annexation of the Crimea, the ATO in the east of the country where the Ukrainians need to defend their choice, at the same time proving to themselves and to the world that they are worth a better future than the one the Kremlin is going to impose on them.

“So what has been achieved through the parliamentary elections? asks the author. And he answers his own question.

“First of all, writes P. Sandulesku, has become obvious the desire of the Ukrainian people to join the European Union and to put an end to the conflict in the east. However, it still has to be seen whether the newly elected authorities satisfy these desires of the people. The new legislation will allow to withstand the pressure of Moscow's leadership, which looks at the previous Ukrainian government as “fascist junta”. According to the analyst, the new Parliament will be more reserved in building the relationship with Russia. But for this, President Petro Poroshenko needs to withdraw from the Parliament loyalists of the former President Viktor Yanukovych. And to ensure that the development of the country will be in the hands of the pro-European majority.

He has managed to achieve this goal to some extent, having the pro-European majority in the Parliament, says the analyst, while warning, “the situation with the rest of the Parliament is more complicated”. Why? The answer, as they say, is simple: some members of the “Party of Regions” have migrated to pro-European parties, without changing their beliefs and sympathies.

This will affect the future of the country, as “the basic principles of the Russian Federation remain, and can be activated in the future”. Sandulesku is sure that this won't cause a split of the Parliament, but it will worsen the situation for the pro-European Ukrainians, because Moscow will not give up its influence on the situation in Ukraine. (By the way, Putin already said this at the “G-20” summit in Australia — Ed.). The number of votes received by the “People's Front”, points out the analyst, has complicated the struggle for power between President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, from which fact Russia benefits. Poroshenko gave way, but P. Sandulesku thinks that he is determined to carry out reforms. The presidential administration has prepared a bill on economic and law reforms and decentralization of power. According to Arseniy Yatsenyuk, their main goal is to restore national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

The analyst raises the question: so what should the new Government, new Parliament and President of Ukraine do? And he answers. “Firstly, they must complete the process of establishing peace in the east of the country, while maintaining the territorial integrity or, more likely, to limit losses the best they can. Secondly, since the Kiev leadership decided not to take military actions against Russia, it will have to provide solution to the crisis through negotiations. This will certainly lead to a loss, in addition to the Crimea, of the territory of the Donbas. On the basis of the predictable results of the “elections” of November 2, separatists will demand at least a broad autonomy or self-determination, which, in fact, with Russia's support, will take the region away from under Kyiv's control. Kyiv has no means to prevent this process, although the Western world does not recognize these “elections”, considering them illegitimate. Vladimir Putin said, and it is clear that, regardless of Western sanctions, Russia will not give away Ukraine. Do not forget the sensational statement of the speaker of the Polish Sejm Radoslaw Sikorski that supposedly 6 years ago, the President of the Russian Federation proposed to divide Ukraine (between Russia and Poland). After the annexation of the Crimea by the Russian Federation, a similar proposal was made by the Vice-Speaker of the State Duma Vladimir Zhirinovsky to leaders of Poland, Romania and Hungary”.

And at the end of his analytical notes P. Sandulesku touches upon another theme which is familiar, at least, to the older generation of Romanian citizens — corruption in the state authorities of Ukraine. It is extremely difficult to eradicate it, the author writes. Most likely because Ukrainian oligarchs have much to lose, they are closely linked with Moscow and have leverage over Ukraine. Tax evasion, chronic corruption and the fact that Ukraine's major industrial facilities are located in Donetsk, at territories controlled by separatists, will leave no other choice but to withdraw the Ukrainian economy out of this abyss. How can this be done? And is it possible? Will there be enough material resources to do this? Military spending, territorial, economic and financial losses, gas imports from Russia would devastate the state budget, and reduce abilities of the state, the author points out. So, he says, Ukraine needs help from the IMF and the EU. Investment, political, legal, economic, etc. But Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov believes that the new government of Ukraine does not need to declare the policy of European integration, but to stick to neutral position. Thus, the Kremlin keeps playing the old geopolitical plate, the melody on which seems to have no end.

Therefore, according to Mr. Sandulesku, although the elections in Ukraine are over, the country's further existence is still open to question.