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.