Tuesday, August 16, 2011

EU/Ukraine agreements in peril

A thoroughly damning assessment of Ukraine's legal system and its political puppetmasters by The Danish Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, entitled: "Second Preliminary Report based on the investigations and trials against former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, former acting Minister of Defence Valeriy Ivashchenko, former Minister of Interior Yurij Lutsenko and former First Deputy Minister of Justice Yevhen Korniychuk", can be read here

Today's 'Financial Times' carries a story about the proposed signing free trade and association agreements with the EU, entitled "Ukraine poses dilemma for Brussels"

The article ends with a quote from Nico Lange, head of the Ukraine office of Germany’s Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung foundation,

"What signal do you send if you include a country into this new form of co-operation when it is one of the worst worldwide in terms of business climate, corruption, has significant problems with democracy and rule of law, and is persecuting the former government?.. What signal does this send to northern Africa or Belarus?"

My guesss now is, on the balance of probabilities, EU countries will kick these agreements 'into the long grass'. Germany and France in particular, have had enough of paying the bills for more fiscally profligate countries in the Eurozone. Who needs extra burdens right now?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Most people who have been watching Ukraine know all too well about the antics of Yulia Tymoshenko.

But the events that are unfolding today in Ukraine with members of the opposition facing what can only be seen as political persecution are alarming.

Europe will soon be forced to respond in the hashes of measure. Failure to do so would send the wrong message to Ukraine and the powers that be. It would set a precedent that cannot be allowed to be made.

"The lowest popularity has ex-president Yushchenko, with between 85 and 90 percent of Ukrainians having no trust for him whatever. "

This comes as no surprise. Yushchenko betrayed Ukraine and democracy itself.

Prior to his election as President Viktor Yanukovych was advocating and supporting Constitutional reform and the adoption of a European Parliamentary democratic model. Since winning office Yanuvovych has sent Ukraine heading in the wrong direction m issuing and abusing his position and office. The Constitutional Court ruling revoking the changes made to Ukraine’s constitution have seriously undermined confidence in the directions Ukraine is taking. The Venice Commission in its review has rightly raised a number of questions surrounding the Constitutional Courts ruling. The problem is the rules played by the Venice Commission mans that some of its criticism is hidden behind a Vail of niceties and more often than not the words stated are not herd or echoed loud enough.

This was the problem back in 2007 when the Venice Commission turned a selective blind eye to Victor Yushchenko when he denied Ukrainians their constitutional rights and illegally dismissed Ukraine's Previous parliament. Yushchenko actions were a direct attack on democracy itself. The events that unfolded back in 2007 where the precursor for the events that are unfolding today.

Yanukovych having assumed office as President has sort to consolidate power and authority at all costs and by whatever means possible. But this string handed approach is likely to rebound. The political persecution of members of Ukraine's opposition parties is reprehensible. Holding them in detention for prolonged period as the courts deal passing judgment is inhuman and unjust. They have not been found guilty of any crime and they should have the right to free movement on their own undertakings.

The fact that Yanukovych has not stepped in a ensured that the processes of justice is afforded without delay is a further indication of his true intent and motion.

The other obviously blind aspect is that Victor Yushchenko has not been charged or brought to account for his actions. If anyone should be held to account for the misuse and abuse of office it is Yushchenko. Yushchenko is n o longer president and he no longer holds immunity yet he appears to beyond account. What deal was cut between Yushchenko and Yanukovych. Is this the reason why Yushchenko betrayed all those who had previously supported his election as president? Had he sold his soul and the will of Ukraine to the devil in exchange for his own immunity and safety?

Ukraine needs leaders and politicians who value democracy over autocracy and who will stand up and advocate loudly for reform. Now is there one and only chance to stand out from the pack of wolves. Will he howl in triumph or will he howl in defeat and cow tail to the powers that be in the absence of meaningful policy for change..

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Venice commission have both recommended and advocated that Ukraine adopt a full parliamentary system. Where does Yatseniuk and Tymoshenko stand on this crucial issue.

As long as Ukraine retains the presidential system it will NEVER be a free democratic independent state.