Former First Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Kinakh has left the Government but has remained in the system. Experts say that he has even been promoted to succeed Petro Poroshenko in the post of secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC).
However, this promotion appears to be purely a formality: unlike his predecessor, Kinakh cannot take part in appointing judges, Supreme Justice Council members, regional power department leaders and military rank conferment. In addition, the NSDC Secretary has lost the status of a Presidential advisor as well as the right to be present at the Council of Ministers sessions and issue orders to the executive bodies. Yet Kinakh has accepted this "high-status" position, which he probably needs as a stepping-stone for the post of prime minister.
Finance Minister Viktor Pinzenik, who had been called the Ukrainian Gaidar in the 1990s, did not hesitate between political loyalty to Yulia Timoshenko and the desire to remain a minister. While Timoshenko had offered Pinzenik the prospect of becoming the finance minister in the future, following the Rada elections, and without any guarantees (as she may never return to premiership), Yushchenko was in a position to do it now. Acting rationally, the pragmatic minister joined Ekhanurov's team.
Foreign Affairs Minister Boris Tarasyuk and Defense Minister Anatoly Hritsenko have remained in the Government. This means that the pro-Western orientation of Ukraine's defense and foreign policies will remain unaltered. Kiev Mayor Alexander Omelchenko, though not the member of the new Cabinet, is still regarded as the winner in this situation. He is the only regional leader who has kept his position since Yushchenko came to power. Now his position has become even stronger, since Fuel and Energy Minister Ivan Plachkov, his representative in the government, has kept his post. In addition, Omelchenko's old buddy, Stanislav Stashevsky, who had been Kiev's Vice-Mayor for many years, has become Vice-Premier of the new Cabinet. Some years ago Stashevsky served as Fuel and Energy Minister, but without much success.
Ivan Sakhan, another veteran politician, has become Labor and Social Policy Minister. Some years ago he held this post in three consecutive Cabinets. Lately he worked as General Director of Ukraine's Aluminum, a subsidiary of Oleg Deripaska's Russian Aluminum.
Arseny Yatsenyuk (who was member of Sergey Tihipko's team when he was Head of the National Bank of Ukraine) has become Minister of Economics. During last year's presidential election campaign Tigipko was head of Yanukovitch's election headquarters. Tigipko lost his post as the head of the National Bank as a result of the "orange revolution", and Yatsenyuk was not able to work with his successor, Yushchenko's old friend Vladimir Stelmakh. At that time experts of the stock market expressed their disappointment at the departure of a high-level market-minded professional, but now Yatsenyuk has been recruited to join Ekhanurov's team. As for who sided with whom during the revolution days, it doesn't seem important in the pragmatic atmosphere of Ukraine today.
On the whole, the new government is an odd assortment of politicians. There is Pinzenik, a classic liberal professor with an obvious taste for politics; Stashevsky, a retirement age economic manager of the Soviet mold; Sakhan, who had worked in Komsomol for many years and in the late 1980s was the Ukrainian Communist Party Central Committee inspector; 31-year-old Yatsenyuk, as well as 29-year-old Viktor Bondar, the new Transport and Communications Minister, who are young modern managers. Nothing but political pragmatism unites all these very different people.
Will this government be an efficient union of like-minded people able to handle the serious problems Ukraine is facing, such as the sharp decline of economic growth, high inflation, and inability to attract investment? Looks like the next Cabinet, which will be elected in spring, will have to deal with all these issues. The purpose of Ekhanurov's government is to get through the winter without a new government crisis or rigorous rivalry of ambitious politicians. In essence, it is an interim government, which is probably not expected to make any fundamental decisions.
Yet there are grounds to assume that even after the elections the new Ukrainian government will resemble Ekhanurov's Cabinet. New people will come to it, but the fundamental idea of the elite's pragmatic compromise, will remain. It is evident that no Ukrainian political party or even a stable political coalition will be able to form an election-based government on its own. So, it is likely that the future Ukraine's Cabinet will have the same complicated and contradictory structure as Ekhanurov's interim government.
Source: RIA Novosti