Thursday, April 20, 2006

Gas and the Orange coalition

Many political observers explain the mutual problems between Tymoshenko and Yushchenko as partly being a clash between prima-donnas. The quote below from today's 'The Independent' is typical:

"[The premiership] was a job she [Tymoshenko] did until September of last year, when Mr Yushchenko abruptly sacked her for allegedly spending too much time polishing her own image, for apparently being too radical on the economy, and for picking too many fights with some of his closest advisers."
But perhaps the main reason for her sacking involves corruption and money made by the intermediaries and their secretive beneficiaries in the Russia-Ukraine gas trade. Tymoshenko's #2 and former SBU chief Oleksandr Turchynov described soon after Tymoshenko's sacking how Yushchenko himself ordered a halt to his investigations into these matters, commanding him to "stop persecuting his men" because it was "creating a conflict with Russian President Vladimir Putin."

Tymoshenko has made it clear many times that if she becomes PM she will renegotiate the the entire Russian-Ukrainian gas arrangement from scratch - something both Russian government and President Yushchenko have declared is not a good idea. Some have suggested she will do this not wholly for altruistic reasons. She even brought down the Yekhanurov government on 10th January this year over the opaque details of the newly agreed Russian-Ukrainian gas accords, so causing a major constitutional crisis. It's no surprise then that during the parliamentary election campaign Yekhanurov stated clearly that he would not work with Tymoshenko 'under any circumstances'.

The smell of gas [sorry..] will continue to hang heavy over any orange coalition building.

Curiously newly-elected BYuT parliamentary deputy and newspaper editor Oleh Lyashko revealed on the Russian language service of Radio 'Svoboda' today that Oleksandr Turchinov has been hospitalized, and that there is a suspicion that he may have been poisoned."There are some facts that would indicate an unnatural reason for him to be in hospital," said Lyashko. However Tymoshenko's press secretary says he has no information whether Turchinov was poisoned.


Nick Oz said...

The famously poor quality of much of the Ukraine coverage in the UK media is more often than not explicated in the byline; most are from Moscow, at least in the Indy and Guardian. Some might suspect that, apart from being overly receptive to perspectives put about in Russian media & society, as far as Ukraine is concerned, they're somewhat reluctant to shine a light in certain directions...

Of course, being based in Kyiv is no guarantee of journalistic competance as the FT regularly proves...

LEvko said...

Thanks for the comment Nick. I know that it's not an original thought, but there's a new great game afoot being played by the world's leading countries to secure supplies of hydrocarbon fuels for the decades to come. Inevitably the mass media become activated to some degree in all of this too. Everyone has an angle..