Monday, April 07, 2008

Grey cardinal not yet finished..

A recent article in 'Ekonomicheskie Izvestia' explains that even though President Yushchenko has criticized Tymoshenko's administration for employing associates of head of President Kuchma's administration, and Kuchma's main fixer, Viktor Medvedchuk, the latter still has a significant role to play in Ukrainian politics:

"Yushchenko taking away Medvedchuk from Tymoshenko

Regular contact between head of the Presidential secretariat, Viktor Baloha, and Viktor Medvedchuk, according to information obtained by 'E-Izvestia', has led to Bank Street [presidential administration] trying to pull away Medvedchuk from the orbit of influence of Yulia Tymoshenko and bring him into the orbit of Viktor Yushchenko. This was one of the reasons for the Head of The State's letter of criticism written to the premier.

In the letter, Yushchenko demanded Tymoshenko dismiss people, who have connections with the former Head of the President's Administration, Medvedchuk: i.e. deputy head of the Customs service Taras Kozak, first deputy head of the State Agency on questions of provision of effective use of energy resources, Oleksandr Parshin, first Deputy Minister of regional development and building, Oleksiy Ishchenko, and adviser to the premier, Oleksandr Zadorozhniy.

The first area of co-operation between Viktor Yushchenko and Viktor Medvedchuk could be the fight for the mayor of Kyiv's chair, according to sources close to BYuT's leadership.

Also Mr. Medvedchuk's closeness with the outgoing and future Presidents of Russia could help Yushchenko significantly improve personal dialogue with the Kremlin.

Party of Regions deputy Vasyl Khara agrees with this scenario and considers the demand of the President to expel Medvedchuk's people from executive power to be politically motivated: "Yushchenko implies that it is necessary to expel from Kabmin of all those who are not in the sphere of the influence of the President. He already considers the country to be his own property, and his contacts with the premier by letter look ridiculous".

This view is supported by his political opponent, BYuT deputy Valentyn Zubov. "The country needs professionals and it is unimportant to what political force they are affiliated," he said. "As to how Yulia Tymoshenko will react to this, it's better to ask her".

However, in the SDPU(o) party they consider that the demand of the President to discharge people close to Victor Medvedchuk to be the result of a failure of NATO members to accept Ukraine's Membership Action Plan in Bucharest. At the moment of failure, the President again mentioned Viktor Medvedchuk, "in connection with resolution of gas disputes with Russia". According to information, the former leader of SDPU(o) organized the 12th February Moscow meeting between Viktor Yushchenko and Vladimir Putin, during which the Presidents reached agreements on questions of gas."

p.s. "Baloha (according to some sources) considers his namesake and former fellow SDPU(o) member Medvedchuk to be his teacher and tries to mimic his style." 'Dzerkalo Tyzhnya' 15th December 2007

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