Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ukrainian authorities not seeking solution to Association Agreement obstacles?

As I mentioned in my previous blog the firmest demand made it last week's Europarliament resolution on Ukraine was the insistence that Yulia Tymoshenko be allowed to participate in the country's political life right away.

This has not received much attention in the Ukrainian media, but in his show last Friday, Savik Shuster mentioned it as an aside during Petro Poroshenko's appearance.

Poroshenko is a passionate supporter of Ukraine's entry into the European Union and met most of Europe's 'top bananas' in Brussels and Strasbourg' a couple of weeks ago. He appealed to the Ukrainian goverment not to let the opportunity slip in the previous week's show.

The exchange is near the end of this video clip. Here is my transcript:

Shuster: ..[the Europarliament] demands, insists that Yulia Tymoshenko has the possibility, which is her right, to take part in political life right now and in future elections, so how can the authorities agree to this?

Poroshenko: If you want me to creatively suggest [to the authorities] tens of possibilities [how to do this] believe me, I have them. If you want songs, I have them, but I am deeply convinced that this should not be a matter of public discussion because the authorities know very well by what means they can get out of the situation into which they have driven themselves, and at the same time keep face, [and] at the same time save the face of our European friends and partners...

each of you know those who gave their time, their authority, their wishes onto the altar of Ukraine's Europeanness. And if there was a desire [to do this], then possibilities would be sought, if there is not a desire - reasons are sought. I think that lately the authorities are seeking reasons, not possibilities.

My guess is that there are lots of major businessmen of all colours who feel the same way as Poroshenko, and their disquiet will be growing. How much influence do they have on Yanukovych? Probably not that much...

p.s. Polish foreign minister Radoslav Sikorski, in a TV interview expressed his conviction that although the text of an association agreement with Ukraine, which depended on the Polish presidency, has been agreed and is a success, he is not prejudging anything. "President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, who is trying to raise the stakes with Europe by demanding the re-trial of Yulia Tymoshenko should be made aware of this. When raising the stakes you can overestimate the strength of your own cards," he warned.

Eminent international lawyer Robert Amsterdam recently wrote: "Although Yanukovych has already indicated that the [Tymoshenko] verdict can be reversed, the following day he flip-flopped back to obstinacy, presumably to avoid the perception that he was willing to give in to pressure. With so many conflicting motivations and key interests on the line, one is left with the impression that a high-stakes game has begun, and the main player is way out of his league."

Very true...

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