Wednesday, December 01, 2004

The agreement

I know people are interested in the agreement that was reached and I watched the press conference on TV and heard the translation in English. Kuchma held out a piece of paper, said it was an agreement and that all parties had signed. I know lots of reports have it that it is some kind of agreement to have a new vote and that the terms for that vote and the legislation enabling it would be agreed to later.

But I heard another agreement to agree. Maybe I just didn’t get it all. (Kids have a tendency to demand attention at inopportune moments and this was one of them, of all times.) But the problem I have with it was that Yuschenko is telling everyone that they were waiting for the Court decision this week possibly tomorrow. Of course, that decision might mean any election is a moot question but it made it sound to me more like there was no serious decision.

And Yuschenko said that he had proposed December 21 as the date. That made it seem to me as if the date was not fixed and so maybe no real agreement had been reached. I guess they could hammer those things out in the further negotiations. But those negotiations seemed to be set to determine legislation only, though. Maybe some kind of constitutional provision to allow for that election? That would mean a firm agreement for an election.

The other thing that came out of it was that the buildings would no longer be blockaded. Would Yuschenko give that up for an agreement to agree? Maybe he’s not cutthroat enough for the negotiations?

Maybe I was influenced by the first agreement which was the establishment of a “framework.” Establishing a framework means “we haven’t been able to agree on anything and to make it look like there’s progress, we need to agree on something.” So they agree to a framework.

And seeing Solano there didn’t inspire much confidence in me that they had done anything. The EU has acted as it should in this and deserves the credit. They, along with the US, may have saved lives by paying attention and speaking up. But they do have this tendency to think that sitting down and talking will solve everything.

Or maybe it’s just me.

I don’t know, I’ll just have to read the agreement to see what it actually says. But right now I don’t think it was much of anything.


Anonymous said...

In Mariyinskyy Palace the Second Round of Negotiations Has Finished

There was achieved an agreement not to use force towards members of civic resistance movement and also to unblock administrative buildings.

That was announced by L.Kuchma as a result of negotiations between V.Yushchenko and V.Yanukovych and also V.Lytvyn, the speaker of Verkhovna Rada, A.Kwasniewski, the president of Poland, V.Adamkus, the president of Lithuania, Y.Kubish , the head of OBSCE and B.Gryzlov, the speaker of Russian Parliament.

The participants have reached the following agreement:

1. All sides confirm that the force will not be used.
2. The administrative buildings should be unblocked.
3. The expert group should be created. This group should make a legislative analysis of the current situation and prepare propositions of law change.
4. Sides also agreed to admit political reform on the basis of Law-project No.4180; this should be done together with changes to Law about presidential elections as well as with forming of new Cabinet of Ministers.
5. Sides also appealed to all political forces to respect territorial integrity of Ukraine.
6. Sides also appeal to authorities of all levels in Ukraine to concentrate on crisis in Economics.
7. Sides also agreed that the next round should take place after Supreme Court declares the decision.

????????????? Agreement

Ron said...

"..I don’t think it was much of anything."I agree - the 'agreement' was woefully lacking in substance, mostly devoid of specifics - with the exceptions of 'no violence' and 'unblock government buildings.'

Overall, as I see it Yushchenko garnered virtually nothing, as nothing truly substantive was hammered into hard dates and commitments. Indeed, he may have lost ground, in unblocking certain buildings – removing pressure from the thugs.

And, you're right – I believe the EU delegation is of little assistance to Yushchenko supporters – they lean too far toward compromise and appeasement. Worst of all, I think they fear Russia too much, and won’t stand against it with the backbone needed. In short, Yushchenko had few if any allies helping him. Whatever he attained came more as a result of his own strength and that lent by his supporters than it did from any assistance by this gaggle of outsiders.

We can hope he gained enough – but, smiling thugs make me extremely distrustful that solid gains were made.

There is the Supreme Court ruling - delayed too long now - and another series of Parliamentary votes to face; any of which could still leave Ukraine government in the hands of criminal tyrants for a while longer. The enemy of Yushchendo is delay, yet the opposition faces a lot more of it.

Ron said...

Yushchenko apparently also ceded victory to his enemies in agreeing to weaken the power of the presidency, giving powers to Parliament that it has not had in the past. That could substantially limit his ability to reform the corruption endemic in the Ukraine, given the 'bought' nature of so many within Parliament now.

Scott W. Clark said...

These are all well thought out comments.