Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hanging on to the money, above all else

One curious aspect of Yulia Tymosenko' criminal sentence was the ridiculously huge fine of $188 million that accompanied the 7 year stretch. It was set as reimbursement for alleged losses caused by the 2009 gas contract she had negotiated with Putin.

It's possible that she has this sort of cash salted away on some far and distant shore..but not in Ukraine, and not anywhere it would be easily accessible. So what happens if she does not pay the fine?

Imposition of such a gigantic financial penalty onto a single person seems slightly absurd, particularly as Tymoshenko was not accused of corruption or self-enrichment in the case against her, yet Yanukovych and his pals seem to take a different view. Maybe they think this was her under-the-table 'rake-off' from the 2009 gas deal?

Fuel and Energy minister Yuriy Boyko says the fine money is to be used to pay for Russian gas, [ho,ho, ho..] and Yanukovych himself, apparently raised the issue of a fine with Angela Merkel when the met a few days ago in Warsaw.

There have been a couple of unconfirmed reports that he caved in and agreed to Merkel's insistence he release Tymoshenko, but remained adamant Tymoshenko 'compensate the state' for the alleged $188 million loss. Merkel responded: "We're not in a market here where you can haggle!" and on this their conversation ended. Maybe she took this as a hint from Yanukovych she pays Tymoshenko's fine?

Yelena Bondarenko, a prominent PoR spokesperson, is of the opinion that if Tymoshenko doesn't pay up then she should serve her full sentence. "Decriminalisation is not amnesty...whoever is guilty of damage should either compensate the damage, or serve time".

I think the mercantile approach is revealing of Yanukovych's world view. Values, justice etc. count for nothing. Money and wealth, grabbing it, stealing it, taking it away from enemies, is everything. Just like in the gangster movies - throw them in the cellar until they get the money back.

Anyone who is mega rich in Ukraine [including Tymoshenko] made their money in the 'wild east' period - the early and mid nineties. If the country is to make any progress these people, who entered politics merely to protect their wealth and interests, have to sort out their differences and call a truce if the country is to make any progress.

The big dilemma for Yanukovych is that if he releases Tymoshenko now the chances of him and associates hanging on to wealth they themselves have amassed decreases markedly. It is dawning on them that they could be in big, big trouble in a year or two's time when their political fortunes fade and her's rise..Remember how they all bolted abroad after the O.R.? [This option may now be narrowing.] But the massive anti-Yanukovych bombardment from the West may yet turn out to be counterproductive..There has been a bit of a rally by PoR spokesmen today to protect the 'vozhd' from foreign critics...the UESU charges against her have been reanimated... and she is still behind bars..

Yanukovych today profoundly commented on the Tymoshenko affair thus: "If such a situation occurred in any other country, even the most democratic, no-one would be say anything there, [no-one would] even open their mouth"....but Ukraine is being examined "under a microscope."

Clearly this man 'knows his stuff'.

Maybe 'Lucky' Alex from Belarus has persuaded him being a pariah is not that bad after all..


Anonymous said...

But the massive anti-Yanukovych bombardment from the West may yet turn out to be counterproductive.

It also won't be helped by the fact the most Uranians, according to one poll at least, think that the prosecution was NOT politically motivated.

Anonymous said...

when Yushchenko in 2007 violated Ukraine's constitutional rights he also was hardly criticised by the EU. The made as few noises in the beginning and then soon fell silent as Yushenko ramped up his attack. on democracy and Ukraine's constitutional rights by illegally interfering in the independence and operation of Ukraine's Constitutional Court. Yushchenko's actions caused seven months of political and civil unrest. The EU looked on and after two weeks fell silent and turned a blind eye. No doubts they will do the same this time.

elmer said...

Au contraire - most Ukrainians know exactly that the trials of the former 12 officials are politically motivated - but they don't care.

Here is Mykola Knyazhytsky's program on TVi from October 13:

He starts out with Nico Lange, from the Adenauer Foundation, who, in Ukrainian, expresses quite rightly the shock and revulsion of Europe at the lack of a legal system in Ukraine and the stalinist show trials that the sovok mafia try to pass off as something else.

Then we get to FEMEN and Oleksandra Shevchenko, a very talkative, animated, bright and courageous young woman who makes some very important - and obvious -points as to making Ukraine a democratic country.

She says the only place she's been in Europe is Poland, which she liked and admired - the people there are totally different, not sovoks, and the rule of law is paramount and it's a democracy.

But then we get to Tymo.

Essentially, what she says is that she doesn't care if Tymo is put away for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all - the point is to knock Tymo out of politics - and Yanuk is the next one to go to jail.

On questioning by Knyazhytsky, who is a brilliant analyst, she says that it will "just happen" and that Ukraine absolutely needs "new faces" to replace all of the current jerks. Who are the new people? She doesn't know.

She faults Tymo for not honestly declaring her wealth - Tymo claims that she nothing except something like a one-room apartment that she rents to her grandmother.

So - here is Oleksandra, standing up for women's rights.

But she is more than willing to violate Tymo's rights, all in the same breath, and all in the same sentence.

It's clear that there is a huge disgust towards and distrust of the sovok mafia government - and that includes all of the "political elite," including teh so-called opposition.

Oleksandra laughed off Yatseniuk as a joke.

But - Oleksandra still can't quite figure it out.

I think the FEMEN girls are great, and they should keep doing what they're doing.

But the lack of logic in Ukraine is appalling. Both on the part of the government, and on the part of the people.

And by the way - that poll that you cite is a Party of Robbers hack poll - typical sovok propaganda crap.

спасибо жителям Донбасса
за президента пидирасса