The EU shouldn’t be surprised by the Tymoshenko verdict: its support of anything nominally reformist has been perceived as acceptance of a range of repressions. Tough measures are now needed if another authoritarian regime is to be prevented from forming on the EU’s eastern border, writes Mykola Riabchuk.
Even if the West undertakes no obligations vis-à-vis the Rest, the principles upon which it is built suggest some responsibility, writes Mykola Riabchuk. Ukrainians are particularly wary of the Realpolitik that dominates western dealings with Russia. Whatever one thinks about the “centuries old affinity” between Ukraine and Russia, any policy that downplays the issue of values is fundamentally flawed.
Ukraine’s pro-western government coalition has collapsed after only one year. Viktor Yushchenko’s victory in the elections in September 2007, called after the pro-Russian “parliamentary coup”, represented an opportunity for the gradual improvement of democratic institutions, writes Mykola Riabchuk. The latest crisis is yet another symptom of the political “pluralism by default” that undermines Ukraine’s long-term democratic consolidation.
What's left of Orange Ukraine?
Ukrainian democracy is allegedly back to square one after Viktor Yanukovych’s election victory. Though reform will not take place as long as political infighting continues, Yanukovych is equally unlikely to drop the European rhetoric and defer to Moscow, writes Mykola Riabchuk. Ukraine’s leadership will continue to “muddle through” – for the time being.
Another quarrel in the post-Soviet komunalka
Russia and Ukraine have come to terms over gas supplies, but the agreement will not bring a viable long-term solution, writes Mykola Riabchuk. It runs against the political and economic interests of the Russian elite, whose pressure Ukraine lacks the capacity to withstand. The EU, meanwhile, is reluctant to play the role of strong arbiter and to help those Ukrainians who would like to introduce transparency to a criminalized energy trade.