Sunday, February 04, 2007

Klyuyev on 'Svoboda'

Vice Prime Minister Andriy Klyuyev visited Brussels recently where he presented the energy policy of Ukraine in the context of cooperation with the EU at the European Energy Forum.

I have posted many times previously on the dubious activities of the 42 year old Klyuyev, who now has special responsibilities for the fuel and energy complex.

During the OR in 2004 he allegedly headed Yanukovych's 'dirty tricks' shadow presidential campaign, and was the main conduit for campaign funds from Moscow. There were rumours at the time that he may have been indirectly involved with Yush's poisoning.

After the March 2006 elections it was alleged that Klyuyev, as PoR's bag-man, was assigned to bribe the Socialists to join the anti-crisis VR coalition; and was responsible for 'changing Yushchenko's mind' in August 2006 when the President abruptly formed the anti-crisis coalition with PoR and did not dismiss parliament as had been agreed earlier in the day with Yuliya T.

While in Brussels, he gave an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty providing candid and lucid [but maybe rather nervous] replies in Ukrainian. The fact that he agreed to be interviewed is a surprise. Most of the PoR leadership are traditionally 'media-shy' and are reluctant to be quizzed on questions of policy. Only a handful are entrusted to do so.

I would suggest that he agreed to be interviewed for several reasons. He wanted to publicize the matters of which he spoke, and also realizes that he has to show that he is not the ogre he is painted, but a serious politician. RFE/RL were pro-orange, and have traditionally espoused a pro-western world view.

In his interview [a summary in Russian here ] he makes some interesting points.

"At the next elections it could happen that PoR will be in opposition and BYuT in probably know that we associate with the opposition political forces, and we work constructively with them...It is necessary that parties that are in opposition, and parties that are in power work together. It is not necessary to be enemies..It could happen that a two-party system will come into existence..and if we learn that the opposition and the authorities - they are partners, and not enemies, then this will be very good."

I wonder if Klyuyev has stuck his neck out too far ..

Maybe BYuT and PoR really are developing some kind of modus vivendi here - simultaneously reducing or cutting out the role of the presidency. This would explain BYuT controversially voting with PoR to overrule Yushchenko's veto of the KabMin laws. NU and Yushchenko should be worried.

He goes on to say that he and the PM are preparing to meet the leadership of the opposition to work through a packet of questions..

He is asked about sales of Ukrainian electricity to Hungary via Firtash's 'Emfesz' company, and promises to make sales transparent.

He agrees that Ukraine will play according to 'market rules' on the trade of grain.

On the EU: "We, our party, are ready to enter the EU..but we have to travel a long way in order to regards NATO, we support co-operation with NATO. After our electors in a referendum tell us that it is necessary that Ukraine enters NATO, then we will approve the political decision..but we support co-operation and partnership relations with the Euro-Atlantic alliance. We will see what the reaction to Klyuyev's statements are in the next few days.
Klyuyev, second from right, plotting with Akhmetov, Kolesnikov and Kushnaryov.

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