Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Three scenarios from 'Segodnya'

Today's big-selling, PoR-leaning 'Segodnya' newspaper runs a story which depicts three scenarios "that the West could choose" for Ukraine, following Yulia Tymoshenko's inprisonment.

The first is that the furore will die down quite soon and Tymoshenko will soon be forgotten - the likelyhood of such scenario is 60%, they suggest. The Europeans and the USA will not want to push Ukraine too far into isolation or into Russia's hands, for geo-political reasons, and some EU countries [apparently?] fear loss of business opportunities. As a result, the association and free trade agreements with the EU will be signed. Closer euro-integration will [hopefully?] speed up democratisation processes in Ukraine. Naturally, this is the scenario envisaged by the president and his advisers.

The second is the 'Belarusisation'of Ukraine. 'Segodnya' suggests a 30% likelyhood and claims Germany, France and Italy are perhaps not too keen on closer ties between Ukraine and the EU, because of their relationships with Russia. They could even support Belarus-type sanctions against Ukraine. The Kremlin's position vis a vis Ukraine's would become stronger in such circumstances.

The final scenario, which they say is 'hypothetical', is the toppling of Yanukovych - 10% likelyhood. There is nowhere near a critical mass of dissatisfaction, there is no figurehead to lead such mass movement of discontent, and the USA in particular is not prepared to support any possible opposition forces. Segodnya admits though, that dissatisfaction with the authorities within a significant portion of society is near a critical level.

The latent assumption in this piece is that Tymoshenko remains behind bars, even though Arseniy Yatsenyuk in Brussels today optimistically predicted she would be freed on 18th October".

In your humble blogger's opinion, for what it is worth, if Yatsenyuk is wrong about Tymoshenko's release, the chances of the first two proposed scenarios are 30-60 rather than 60-30....But the fact that 'Segodnya' speculate at all on these matters is significant..

Now if Tymoshenko were to be released...

Update - WSJ report president Yanukovych told them he has given her the 'thumbs down'...
European leaders will interpret his declaration as a snub and i.m.o. will respond robustly..
Similar from Bloomberg.


Anonymous said...

I Think you are being optimistic in reassigning the percentages. The more I read the international media the more I see the West pursuing Option A. It been nearly a year since Lutsenko was imprisoned and the West did nothing to defend his human rights. The EU the Option A back in 2007 when Yushchenko violated Ukraine's constitutional Rights, causing seven monnths of political and civil unrest . They sat bak and watch as Yushenko consistently undermined Ukrainian Secutirty. How would teh EU act if Ukraine was a member of NATO. NATO can not afford to have an unreliale partner. They would never be trusted.

Tymoshenko carries more weight with the unnatural alliance with the EPP, but they do not seem to want to go out on a limb either for some reason. Possibly to do with with Europes current economic situtation.

The third option could follow if, Option B is enacted. All indications are that Ukraine will suffer a winter of discontent and if as predicted the value of the Hrivina will once again come under pressure then Option C will rise in its percentage of likely outcome.

The EU has made numerous recommendations for Ukraine to adopt and very few had been taken up. Most notably the recommendation that Ukraine adopt a full Parliamentary model of governance. If Yanukovych survives but the Party of Regions considered it may lose the Presidency to a boxer then they might want to revive the parliamentary option. The Communist Party has the most to lose come 2012 parliamentary elections. They may also come top the conclusion that they are better off under a parliamentary system . At the moment they are just vote fodder but soon they will have to decide do they reject the government before they reject them.

I suspect that Tymoshenko will be released but continue to face charges of Governing without a permit and other past offences, which will tie her up in the courts for most of 2012.

Without a ground swell of support defending Tymoshokeno Option A is more likely to succeed if Tymoshenko is relased yet still facing charges and conviction. The EU will not defend her right to stand for Parliament and this issue will continue to bubble on without boiling over. Eventually the pan will drty up and teh elction will be conducted without her being a candidate.

Anonymous said...

Why did Victor Yushchenko pursue prosecution against Tymoshenko as opposed to seeking to have her authority to sign the agreement challenged in the Constitutional Court?

If Yushchenko was correct that she did not have the authority to sign the agreement then he should have applied to the Courts to have the agreement revoked.

There are many agreements made by governments that are considered to be of jurisdictional error. In which case the courts rule the decision them invalid.

Anonymous said...

It is looking like being a bit of each option. Today there is reports of Yanukovych annoucng that there will be a delay in Euroep signing the agreement. Although he was not quoted as saying why?

Link to Kyivpost

Bernard said...

The sheer scale of the idiocy and mismanagement manifested by Yanukovych and PoR is almost difficult to grasp. They are now deliberately ruining a historic opportunity for Ukraine - and for what? Because they insist on denying what the whole world has seen: that Ukraine is using political show trials in order to jail political opponents. With the stubborness of a true imbecile Yanukovych demonstrates that petty personal vendettas are more important for him than long term national interests. PoR may dream about everything soon returning to normal in relations with EU, but this will not happen unless Ukraine takes adequate measures with regard to basic democratic values - which includes not using the judiciary as a tool for political persecution. The signal from EU is very clear: if Yanukovych and his regime insists on transforming Ukraine into authoritarian rule, there will be no agreements with EU, and Yanukovych will become a persona non grata. Other than that, however, I don't think there will be any specific pressure on Ukraine in the form of direct sanctions. The position that was voiced by Catherine Ashton was rather, it's up to the Ukrainian leadership! - If you want these agreeements with EU you must show real commitment to basic democratic values, but if not, then you actively show that you prefer the dictatorship path - and so be it. Yanukovych has now demonstrated without doubt, that he prefers the dictatorship path.

Another nail in the coffin will be when the election laws, tailor made on Yanukovych's specific orders to secure a PoR majority in the parliament, will be rammed through the parliament, in spite of recommendations from Venice commission not to return to election system Kuchma, and in spite of Yanukovych's promise to follow recommendations from Venice commission. Yanukovych and his PoR regime are a disgrace of spectacular proportions, and the negative consequences for ordinary Ukrainians of their idiotic and incompetent policies can hardly be overestimated. IMHO the probabilities for the three scenarios are a depressingly 0-80-20.