Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cautious optimism? Self-delusion, or what?

The presidents of Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine met in Wisla, southern Poland, on Thursday to discuss the upcoming EU-Ukraine summit.

Some reports claim the first two managed to 'squeeze a "positive signal" from Yanukovych on the matter of Yulia Tymoshenko's incarceration.

Polish President Bronisław Komorowski, on his official website: "expressed his conviction and optimism regarding a series of gestures and decisions which President Yanukovic had envisaged, important from the point of view of rebuilding Ukraine's image in EU countries and linked with two names - Yulia Tymoshenko as well as Yuri Lutsenko."

Polish 'Newsweek''s assessment in an op-ed piece is far more stark.... and realistic. Here's a loose translation of one passage:

"Instead of releasing Tymoshenko, she is being threatened with life imprisonment in a fresh case against her.

The [mass] media are being ever-more controlled by the authorities.

The opposition is being  threatened, this time, with early elections under new electoral law which would give Yanukovych's party a decisive majority in parliament.

Key issues, demands by Brussels for administrative and judicial reforms, have not even started. If Yanukovych were to meet the minimum required by the EU he would shake the foundations of the para-democracy constructed these last two years and destroy the power of the Party of Regions at an impressive rate. It's hard to expect this.

The system created by him is calculated for power - the [country's] administration and the economy, all to be monopolised by the ruling Party of Regions.

He's done nothing for two years, he won't do anything in two months. The game is no longer about an association agreement, but how to exit from several years of missed opportunities and the illusion of struggle between Brussels and Kyiv without losing face..."

Valeriy Portnikov writing in his op-ed piece in on the same topic, says: "Ukrainian authoritarianism has already passed the point of no return, and those who are trying to change its trajectory are engaging in complacent self-delusion ['samouspokoyeniyem'] rather than real politics."


p.s. Hennadiy Moskal, a seasoned opposition parliamentary deputy with a many years experience in the top eschelons of Ukraine's law enforcement agencies, provides some background info on Serhiy Zaitsev - the second witness to testify against Yulia Tymoshenko in pre-trial hearings last week.

Quoting reliable sources Moskal alleges that last year five criminal criminal cases were opened against Zaitsev in Ukraine. These included serious fraud, embezzlement, forgery etc..

In 1999 Zaitsev was detained by law enforcement agencies in Poland on suspicion of murder, but was later released for unknown reasons.

After Zaitsev had provided 'the stuff' that the prosecutors needed against Tymoshenko, a lot of the charges were dropped ...surprise surprise....

p.p.s. I wonder is Zaitsev's name cropped up in president Komorowski's tete-a-tete with Yanuk?

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