President Yushchenko today anulled the Kabmin's ruling to suspend Valentyna Semenyuk as head of the State Property Fund.
'Internet Reporter' asked some experts what, in their opinion, were the main reasons for the KabMin's removal of Semenyuk from the State Property Fund.
Here are portions of their replies:
"The main reason is to put into place a person 100% loyal [to Tymoshenko]....With the help of privatizations some oligarchs can be destroyed, agreements can be made with others, a third group could be subdued, and a forth group could be turned into allies. In this way the SPF will become not simply the centre of major privatizations, but an instrument in the battle for support of big business on the eve of major political and electoral events. So the question is not about appointments, rather about who will big business support - Yushchenko, or Tymoshenko."
"Yushchenko [by recinding the KabMin's decision to suspend Semenyuk] has been forced to defend a non-orange political figure, weakening his own position amongst the orange electorate."
Semenyuk was 'vidstoronena' [put aside, or suspended] and not 'fired' by the KabMin. It seems the KabMin does have the authority to do this on the grounds that Semenyuk is now the subject of a criminal investigation. The SPF is one of the key state executive organs, and the government does not want it to be under the control of a member of the de-facto opposition."
The response from the government right now is to accept the president's decision. "We will carry it out," said Tymoshenko's deputy PM Oleksandr Turchynov, adding, "with this ukaz the battle against corruption, and shadow privatizations, has been stopped [in its tracks]. Hopefully, [only] temporarily."
Earlier in the day, on a visit to the soon-to-be-privatized strategically important Odessa Portside Factory, Tymoshenko also declared that she would abide by the president's ruling, but that it would, in actual fact, permit corruption to continue.
Turchynov cynically explained: "There is no conflict with the government. We constantly sense the help of the president in all of our initiatives."
The truth is that the government need the money from privatizations to avoid resorting to the money-printing presses, or increasing taxes.
Incidentally, Tymoshenko's and Turchynov's response reminded me of the comments made by a soccer manager after a game which his team had lost due to a very bad refereeing decision. When he was asked by a journalist for his thoughts on the referee, he replied: "I make it an iron rule not to comment on referees decisions. I will not break that rule - even for that ****er."
p.s. Gazprom is threatening to cut natural gas supplies to Ukraine on Monday Feb 11th.
We've heard it all before...
Update: on the latest gas thingumabob from 'Russia Today':
"Aleksandr Gudima, Ukraine’s Prime Minister energy advisor, says, “A week ago Ukraine's leadership officially decided to stop using middlemen like RosUkrEnergo. Russia, particularly Dmitry Medvedev, backed our decision. They have to understand it takes more than a day to cancel these legal contracts. I am sure we'll pay all our debts in the next few weeks,” he adds."
Why pay RUE when they're are going to be dumped anyway, right? Or maybe all these threats are just "economic corrective measures" being taken by Russia resulting from Ukraine's sniffing around NATO again.