Echoes Of Kuchma

KIEV, Ukraine -- A few weeks into the new cabinet led by Viktor Yanukovych and there is an eerie, worrying feeling which stems from the actions and statements of the new team.

Leonid Kuchma

Not surprising, really, as most of them served under the previous president, Leonid Kuchma.

The concern is that the progress made in several areas by the Orange authorities is being rolled back.

At least the Orange authorities rightfully resold the Kryvorizhstal steel mill, initially sold for a pittance, and initiated closer ties to the West.

But now Yanukovych ally Rinat Akhmetov has reiterated he intends to challenge the sale in the European Court. With the Orange cabinets, gone were the Kuchma days of playing the West off against Russia and Ukraine standing still.

But with Ukraine now on the verge of joining the WTO, with Kyrgyzstan the only country left with which Ukraine has to sign a protocol, Finance Minister Mykola Azarov has said that membership does not have to go ahead promptly.

He said Ukraine can join later and not in 2006, as planned. It could be posturing to Russia so that Ukraine does not enter first and so gain an edge on its neighbor.

Azarov has already spoken of the return of three or four privileged special economic zones, cancelled by the Yulia Tymoshenko government.

New Fuel Minister Yuriy Boyko has said that the role of shady energy middleman RosUkrEnergo is a positive thing in keeping gas prices stable.

He should know, as he had a role in the company’s creation.

There has even been talk of the hryvnya being devalued, a move which would help Donbass exporters.

Boyko has also said that the Odessa-Brody oil pipeline, intended to take oil from the Caspian Sea to Europe, will not be used in this direction for another two years, but used to take Russian oil to the Black Sea.

These are examples of national interests suffering. Yanukovych even resembles Kuchma in statements on Russia.

Last week Yanukovych said both countries were competitors and ties with Moscow would always be difficult, assuring that Ukraine could build closer ties with both the West and Russia.

This is reminiscent of Kuchma’s strategy of paying lip service while actually doing what he thought was in his own – and not Russia’s - best interests.

The danger is Ukraine will not improve relations with Europe but stagnate as it did under Kuchma.

Source: Kyiv Post

Comments

Anonymous said…
This current situation in Ukraine really sickens me, the fox has entered the chicken coop again. The Orange Revolution truly has become the Yellow Revolution. Now Ukraine truly needs a REAL Revolution and that is to get rid of all the left overs from the failed USSR, including Yuschenko and especially Yanoukovych and his gang of thieves.The book cover has changed but the book is still the same. Pathetic. Long Live a truly independent Ukraine, not this sham that we have today.
Jerry
Oakville Ontario
Anonymous said…
This current situation in Ukraine really sickens me, the fox has entered the chicken coop again. The Orange Revolution truly has become the Yellow Revolution. Now Ukraine truly needs a REAL Revolution and that is to get rid of all the left overs from the failed USSR, including Yuschenko and especially Yanoukovych and his gang of thieves.The book cover has changed but the book is still the same. Pathetic. Long Live a truly independent Ukraine, not this sham that we have today.