Daily Archives: July 5, 2006

AUR#724 Jul 5 One-Hundred One Days, Still No New Government In Ukraine; Party Of Regions Blocks Parliament; NATO Gets Cold Feet; Falsifying Mayoral Election

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By Yanna Sokolovskaya, Izvestia, in Russian
Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Translated into English by Lisa Koriouchkina for UKL
The Ukraine List (UKL) #394, compiled by Dominique Arel
Chair of Ukrainian Studies, University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Monday, 3 July 2006

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Associated Press, Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, July 4, 2006

By Taras Kuzio, Visiting Professor, Institute
for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Elliott School of International
Affairs, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
The Ukrainian Observer magazine, The Willard Group
Kyiv, Ukraine, July 2006

Petro Poroshenko as the double murderer of the Orange Coalition
COMMENTARY: By Andreas Umland
Ukraine-Analysen, No. 10, 27 June 2006
Translated into English by Nykolai Bilaniuk for UKL
The Ukraine List (UKL) #394, compiled by Dominique Arel
Chair of Ukrainian Studies, University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Monday, 3 July 2006

Russia Profile Experts Panel: Yury Fyodorov, Edward Lozansky,
Anthony T. Salvia, Andrei Seregin, and Andrei Zagorski
Introduction by Vladimir Frolov, Russia Profile.org,
Moscow, Russia, Friday, 30 June 2006

By Olesya Oleshko
The Ukrainian Observer magazine, The Willard Group
Kyiv, Ukraine, July 2006

Adoption of Ukrainian Constitution on June 28, 1996 was pivotal event
By Ambassador Roman Shpek in Brussels
Head of the Mission of Ukraine to the European Union
New Europe, Athens, Greece, Monday, July 3, 2006

Second thoughts about opening door for Ukraine, Georgia, three Balkan states
REUTERS, Brussels, Belgium, Monday July 3, 2006

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, July 3, 2006

Belapan news agency, Minsk, in Russian 1536 gmt 4 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, Jul 04, 2006

By Alex Nicholson, Associated Press Business Writer
AP, Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 4, 2006

By Ethan S. Burger, Esq., Scholar-in-Residence
School of International Service, American University
Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TRACCC)
American University, Washington, D.C., June 2006

OPINION: International Herald Tribune (IHT)
Paris, France, Sunday, July 2, 2006

Europe and Russia are today poised to pull Belarus, Moldova
and Ukraine in two different directions.
By Charles William Maynes, The St. Petersburg Times,
St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, June 30, 2006, Issue #1182(48)

Says NATO is hostile to Russia and to entire orthodox civilization
Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 0948 gmt 4 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, July 4, 2006

U.S., Great Britain & Denmark intimidate and stifle independent journalism
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Eight others receive sentences for rigging elections and accepting bribes
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Joseph Stalin would have greatly appreciated your piece on Cold War II
By Mykola Ryabchuk
Addressed to Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar, Norway
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #724, Article 20
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, July 5, 2006

By Yanna Sokolovskaya, Izvestia, in Russian
Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Translated into English by Lisa Koriouchkina for UKL
The Ukraine List (UKL) #394, compiled by Dominique Arel
Chair of Ukrainian Studies, University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Monday, 3 July 2006

On Tuesday, huge furniture barricades appeared in the Verkhovna Rada
Assembly Hall. Members of the Party of Regions used chairs to block a
tribune and a presidium table. By turning off the voting system “Rada”, they
disrupted a parliamentary session during which “Orange” deputies were going
to elect a speaker and a PM.

Meanwhile, several thousands of people supporting the opposition gathered
for a meeting of protest outside the Parliament building. This many people
have not gathered together in the downtown Kyiv since the events at Maidan.

“We’ll block Rada for 30 days,” – Viktor Yanukovych, a leader of the Party
of Regions, threatened. How far will the opposition go in its confrontation
with the “Orange” authorities? Yanukovych (VY) elaborated on this as well as
many other questions in an interview with Yanna Sokolovskaya.

Izvestia: Are you sure, you can sustain the siege for 30 days?

Viktor Yanukovych: We’ll block the Rada throughout all this time. After
that, by law the Parliament would have to be dismissed. It is important to
make sure that not only the interests of a coalition representing one half
of a country but the interests of all the people are recognized. We’ll make
sure that laws in Ukraine are executed properly.

We will not allow re-opening the session because we no longer trust some
members of the temporary presidium. One of its members, a representative of
“Nasha Ukraina” Mykola Katerynchuk is constantly closing the Parliament
meeting. In the Rada, our rights are ignored.

We wanted to have a deputy meeting; however the microphones were turned
off. The Parliament was literally split into the “Orangists”, the members of a
coalition, the privileged and the rest, i.e, those without any legal rights.
And those without any rights basically make one half of Rada and represent
the interests of half of Ukraine.

Also, we disagree with the Rada’s resolution that was proposed by the
coalition. The resolution specifies that a PM is elected before a speaker.
This is a violation of the order. Our Political Council (politsoviet) is
ready to protect the Constitution.

Izvestia: Will you block only the Rada or will you include local councils
(soviety) as well?

Viktor Yanukovych: Next week, in all the regions that trust us, we will
explain our position at assembly meetings of local councils. We are
preparing meetings of protest as well.

Izvestia: Could a parliamentary crisis bring about an economic crisis?

Viktor Yanukovych: The situation in Ukraine is dangerous from the economic
as well as the political point of view. The crisis is deepening. The
coalition is only making it worse. It [the coalition] has not started
carrying out its duties yet but is already harming Ukraine.

Izvestia: What is your opinion regarding Yulia Tymoshenko’s intention to
break the gas agreement with Russia?

Viktor Yanukovych: It’s an attempt to instigate anti-Russian attitudes, and
by so doing it’s an attempt to cover her lack of competence. However, a
coalition that has not fully been formed does not have a chance to break
agreements with Russia. The Ukrainian government signed the documents.
And the government has not changed.

If the government attempts to break the agreement with Russia, then tomorrow
Ukraine will rise up against the government. People are already unhappy with
the increasing prices and tariffs, with the fact that local budgets are not

Izvestia: Yushchenko’s team refuses to give the Russian language the status
of a regional language in Ukraine. How will you defend rights of the
Russian-speaking populations?

Viktor Yanukovych: We protected the Russian language and will continue to
do so. We will not give up this paragraph of our program. The Council of
Europe’s initiative to scrutinize the Ukraine’s adherence to the Charter of
the Regional languages is a direct response to the events in the
Russian-speaking regions. We salute this decision.

Izvestia: Why do authorities demand [Ukraine’s] speedy admittance to NATO

Viktor Yanukovych: 80% of Ukrainians disapprove of NATO. [You] ask people
whether they want improvement in living conditions or NATO [membership].
And you will understand that today authorities have lost their sense of the
situation. They forgot what the priorities are. They are no longer solving
acute questions but are trying to blackmail people. -30-
LINK TO UKL: http://www.ukrainianstudies.uottawa.ca
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, July 4, 2006

KYIV – The parliamentary coalition believes that the Party of the Regions’
reason for blocking the operations of the parliament is its desire to
destabilize the political and economic situation in Ukraine.

Oleksandr Turchynov, a member of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc, which is
a member of the parliamentary coalition, announced this to journalists.

According to Turchynov, the meeting of the conciliatory council of leaders
of parliamentary groups and factions that took place on Tuesday morning
was unable to adopt any decision that would unblock the activities of the

Turchynov stressed that this was despite the fact that the parliamentary
coalition accepted the demands that the Party of Regions previously made.

In particular, he said that the parliamentary coalition agreed to postpone
the formation of parliamentary committees until election of the leadership
of the parliament and to elect the speaker and deputy speakers of the
parliament through secret ballot.

Turchynov said that the Party of Regions started making new demands after
this. ‘Our conclusion is that the motive for the blocking [of the operations
of the parliament] is not [the party’s] positions on the regulations of the
parliament. The motive is exclusively to destabilize the political, public
and economic situation in the country,’ Turchynov said.

The same time, he stressed that the Party of Regions has no other reasons
for blocking the operations of the parliament.

He also said that the parliamentary coalition was prepared to take adequate
measures within the Constitution and the legislation to protect the
constitutional rights of deputies.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the parliamentary coalition condemned
the Party of Regions on July 3 for blocking the activities of the parliament
and preventing the roundtable intended for resolving the conflict in the
parliamentary from taking place.

The roundtable intended for resolving the conflict between the parliamentary
coalition and the opposition could not start on July 3.

The parliamentary faction of the Party of Regions is blocking the work of
the parliament because it says it wants to prevent a vote on the candidates
for the posts of prime minister and parliament speaker in a single package
in violation of parliamentary regulations, prevent amendment of the
regulations themselves, and prevent distribution of parliamentary committees
exclusively among members of the parliamentary coalition. -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, July 4, 2006

KYIV – The Verkhovna Rada [parliament] coalition has offered opposition
factions leading positions at the Rada’s supervisory bodies. This was
disclosed at a news conference by representatives of the coalition following
negotiations with opposition faction leaders.

Deputy Roman Zvarych of the Our Ukraine faction said that during the
negotiations the parties reached an agreement on all of the disputed issues
excepting the distribution of parliamentary committees.

According to Zvarych, a draft agreement with the opposition consists of
about ten provisions. He said that agreement was reached among other
provisions on those describing procedures for the election of the Rada
leaders and the appointment of the Prime Minister.

In his words, the parties have agreed to set up a working group to be in
charge of legislatively determining the status of the opposition’s rights
and drawing up draft amendments to the Rada’s internal procedural

The coalition and the opposition agreed that the parliament leaders should
be elected by secret ballot, Zvarych said. According to the deputy, the
coalition proposed that the opposition hold consultations with the political
forces dominating in some or other region on the appointment of heads of
local governments in respective regions pending the coming into force of
Bill No. 3207.

The coalition has also offered the opposition that the Constitutional Court
judges from the Verkhovna Rada’s quota should be elected and sworn in
by the end of the current parliamentary session.

According to Zvarych, the Party of Regions claims leading positions in the
Rada’s committees on the national budget, legal issues and the fuel and
energy complex.

The opposition, for its part, offered the coalition leadership in Verkhovna
Rada committees on maternity and childhood, as well as culture and sports
affairs, but this proposal cannot suit the coalition, the lawmaker said.

Yulia Tymoshenko, the leader of the eponymous BYT faction, said that the
coalition is doing what it can to prevent the Verkhovna Rada’s work to be
unblocked by use of force. In her words, the coalition stands prepared to
give over all supervisory functions to the opposition.

“We are drawing up [provisions] on the oppositions’ rights in such a way as
if we ourselves are the opposition,” she said.

Tymoshenko said that the supervisory parliamentary committees will have
powers comparable to those given to dedicated investigatory commissions.
“We, when being in opposition, could not even dream of this,” the BYT
faction leader said.

The Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz offered that the opposition be
given the positions of the Verkhovna Rada’s deputy speaker, first
chairpersons of all of the parliamentary committees, chairman of the
committee on privatization, the head of the Audit Chamber plus five or six
committees with supervisory functions which will be controlled by the

The Party of Regions faction, according to its leader Viktor Yanukovych,
decided that it would examine at one of its meetings the coalition’s
proposals aimed at ending the parliamentary crisis.

As Ukrainian News reported before, the coalition on July 3 issued a
statement to condemn the Party of Regions for blocking Verkhovna Rada’s
work and frustrating the roundtable conference aimed at settling the ongoing
parliamentary crisis.

Roundtable conference on the settlement of the ongoing Verkhovna Rada
crisis had never opened on July 3.

The parliamentary faction of the Party of Regions is blocking the work of
the parliament because it says it wants to prevent candidates for the posts
of prime minister and parliament speaker to be voted in a single package in
violation of parliamentary regulations, to prevent the regulations
themselves to be changed, and prevent the distribution of parliamentary
committees exclusively among members of the parliamentary coalition.

[ return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


Associated Press, Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, July 4, 2006

KIEV- President Viktor Yushchenko met with leaders of parliamentary factions
Tuesday in a bid to end a political crisis caused by an eight-day opposition
protest in parliament that has prevented the formation of a new government.

The pro-Russian Party of Regions began blocking the parliamentary podium
last week while the new coalition was planning to call a vote on naming
Yulia Tymoshenko prime minister. The party, led by Yushchenko’s 2004
election rival Viktor Yanukovych, won the most votes in March parliamentary
elections but fell short of a majority.

Three parties, including those of Yushchenko and Tymoshenko, agreed last
month to form a majority coalition. Yanukovych’s party has demanded
chairmanships of key parliamentary committees and the first deputy speaker
post, sparking coalition accusations of blackmail.

“I am sure that today we are very close to solving all the problems,”
Yushchenko told the politicians Tuesday, according to his office.

His chief of staff, Oleh Rybachuk, sounded upbeat as he emerged later,
saying participants in the meeting found a compromise and were taking a
three-hour break to work on the necessary documents with political councils
of their parties. “We have very good chances of unblocking the parliamentary
work tomorrow,” Rybachuk told reporters.

The majority coalition brings together the key political players in the
Orange Revolution, the massive protests that erupted in 2004 after
Yanukovych was declared to have received the most votes in presidential
elections. That election eventually was declared invalid and Yushchenko won
a rerun.

The parties later fell out, and Tymoshenko was dismissed as prime minister
last September. Her return to the post was a key element in the new
coalition formation. Petro Poroshenko, who resigned as security chief amid
the infighting last year, is to be nominated parliament speaker.

The Party of Regions objects to a coalition proposal to hold the votes on
the prime minister and the parliamentary speaker on a single ballot – in
violation of parliamentary rules. Such a ballot would benefit the Orange
allies because it increases the likelihood of the controversial Poroshenko
winning approval.

The Party of Regions wants the chairmanships of key parliamentary committees
and the appointment of its members as governors in the eastern and southern
regions it dominates, but the coalition is considering giving the Party of
Regions mostly deputy chairmanships. -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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DIALOGUE & DEBATE: By Taras Kuzio, Visiting Professor, Institute
for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Elliott School of International
Affairs, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
The Ukrainian Observer magazine, The Willard Group
Kyiv, Ukraine, July 2006

The eighteen months since the Orange Revolution have been difficult for

Defeating an autocratic regime has proved easier to accomplish for Ukraine’s
opposition than launching much awaited reforms or consolidating a new
democracy. There have been too many missed opportunities. The creation of
an Orange coalition and return of Yulia Tymoshenko to the post of prime
minister, gives Ukraine a chance to reinvigorate its reforms and restart its
integration with Europe.

It would be wrong to paint all that has happened since the Orange Revolution
in a negative light. There have been a number of notable advances, such as
the holding of free and fair elections in March–the first truly free
elections in Ukraine. There exists an open and free press. Civil society,
invigorated by the Orange Revolution, remains robust in Ukraine. Oligarchs
are no longer receiving preferential insider treatment as they did under
Leonid Kuchma.

The re-formation of an Orange coalition now provides President Viktor
Yushchenko with a second, and final, chance to overcome widespread
disappointment in his performance and weak leadership. Most Ukrainians have
concluded that he is a one-term president; an Orange coalition gives him a
chance to change this prevailing sentiment.

Following the election of Yushchenko the commonly held assumption was
that his political force, Our Ukraine, would naturally come first in the
2006 parliamentary elections. After all, Our Ukraine had come first with 24
percent in the proportional half of the 2002 elections under President
Leonid Kuchma.

Following the September 2005 crisis this optimistic view was downgraded to
the prediction that Our Ukraine would come second. Polls by reliable
Kyiv-based sociological firms predicted that this would indeed be the case.
The elections proved, in the end, to be a major upset for Our Ukraine–as it
not only came in third, but with ten percent fewer votes than four years

Why? One reason is obviously beyond Our Ukraine’s control. In elections
voters often punish those in power and it is easier to obtain votes when in
opposition (as in 2002). But three other factors have worked against
Yushchenko and Our Ukraine.

FIRST, the conflict between the Tymoshenko government and the National
Security and Defense Council, led by Secretary Petro Poroshenko, damaged
the Orange camp. The conflict should have been put to rest by the president,
who, instead, let it brew to a boiling point and then dismissed both sides
after the head of the state secretariat made accusations of corruption.

Accusations of corruption against politicians in Ukraine, and the CIS, tend
to take serious root in the public’s mind-often without proof (which
Oleksandr Zinchenko never provided) and regardless of the fact that, in a
democratic society, people are considered innocent until proven guilty in a
court of law.

SECOND, Yushchenko needed to ensure his candidate for prime minister, Yuriy
Yekhanurov, obtained sufficient parliamentary votes. Instead of remaining in
Ukraine and working the parliamentary corridors, Yushchenko spent four days
in the United States and returned home a day before the vote-ultimately
failing by 3 votes.

In a panic, he then chose to lobby the Party of Regions to obtain their
support by agreeing to a ten-point memorandum that included amnesty for
election fraud and immunity for local deputies. This strategic mistake was
compounded when the president summoned Ukraine’s oligarchs to a meeting,
where they were promptly re-named the national bourgeoisie.

THIRD, a hastily agreed-to gas contract on January 4 stipulated the use of
Rosukrenergo as an intermediary. Not only were those who were sent to
negotiate in Moscow incompetent in their prosecution of their duties, they
were completely ignorant of the fact that the EU, the United States and
entire Western media were on Ukraine’s side at that point.

In other words, it should have been Russia capitulating to Ukraine – not
Ukraine to Russia. Sending the head of the Congress of Ukrainian
Nationalists (i.e. head of Naftohaz Ukrainy) to Moscow, with an interpreter,
to negotiate through the gas crisis was surreal.

The gas contract, in turn, led to a January parliamentary vote of no
confidence in the Yekhanurov government. The former Kuchma camp voted
against the contract regardless of the fact that they themselves had
established Rosukrenergo in July 2004 when Viktor Yanukovych was prime
minister. The Tymoshenko faction instead of abstaining in the interests of
Orange unity also voted in favor of the no confidence vote.

Added to these difficulties have been the non-functioning of three
institutions under Yushchenko: the Constitutional Court, the presidential
secretariat and the National Security and Defense Council [NSDC]. Added to
this has been poor leadership and non-existent public relations work–both
here and abroad. There has been little understanding of the need to explain
decisions to the public and to bridge the gulf between leaders and
citizens-an implicit platform of the Orange Revolution.

Yushchenko has insisted that parliament swear-in Constitutional Court judges
following the vote on the Orange coalition government. The Constitutional
Court has not functioned since autumn of last year. Two other important
institutions that need to be revived are the presidential secretariat and
NSDC. The lack of an effective presidential secretariat has paralyzed the

Neither Zinchenko (until his resignation in September 2005), nor current
presidential secretariat head Oleh Rybachuk, have been able to organize an
effective administration for Yushchenko. Disillusionment among presidential
secretariat staff is widespread, particularly following Rybachuk’s
disastrous interview on BBC’s Hardtalk show.

Perhaps more important is the growing sense of concern about Yushchenko’s
ability to grow into the position of president. Not everybody is cut out to
be a president, as we know even in the West, but heads of state can learn on
the job, and be advised and coached as to how best to evolve into their

Yushchenko not only lacks an efficient secretariat, but honest and loyal
advisers who will be up front with him while giving him their total loyalty.
Yushchenko, like U.S. President George W. Bush, needs his Condoleezza Rice
and Dick Cheney. Little wonder that Yushchenko sometimes looks like he is
all alone–without any staff or party members upon whom he can rely.

The NSDC, under Anatoliy Kinakh, has not functioned as an institution
designed to deal with domestic and external threats to the state. The
council has failed to provide an adequate response to the Party of Regions’
use of the Russian language or NATO at the local level in eastern Ukraine or
the Crimea.

This, in turn, prevented the holding of military exercises, which damaged
Ukraine’s international image and put in question whether Ukraine will be
invited into NATO at the 2008 enlargement summit. Again, the Party of
Regions showed its opportunism in supporting anti-NATO rallies in response
to military exercises.

Of course, Yanukovych’s opposition to the exercises is blatantly
hypocritical. He voiced no opposition when he was grandly touring NATO
headquarters in Brussels as prime minister, and he had voiced no opposition
when the exercises were held regularly by the Kuchma administration from

The election results put President Yushchenko in a lose-lose situation,
while Tymoshenko was an instant winner. Building a coalition with either
Tymoshenko or Yanukovych would be difficult for Yushchenko. The former
would require that Tymoshenko return as prime minister, while the latter
would necessite a deal with the defeated presidential candidate that could lead
to Orange voters flocking to Tymoshenko. Tymoshenko meanwhile, could
choose between being either prime minister or head of the opposition.

The best solution to this conundrum might have been a Grand Coalition of the
three Orange forces and the Party of Regions, or a non-left Grand Coalition
(i.e. without the Socialists). President Yushchenko never took this
strategic step, as it was left for others to raise and negotiate as
coalition talks dragged out. The merits of a Grand Coalition might have been
numerous, but neither the president nor any of the other parties ever gave
such a coalition serious consideration.

At the end of this long and laborious process, we now seem slated for an
Orange coalition on a very shaky foundation. The Orange coalition gives
Yushchenko a second, and final, chance to prove himself between now and
the end of 2007–as the 2009 election campaign will unofficially begin in
early 2008.

Public disillusionment in Yushchenko’s leadership skills and his ability to
effect change (or better still, a break with the Kuchma era) has led to a
growing consensus that he is likely to be a one-term president. A successful
and durable Orange coalition until 2009 gives him a chance to right this

If the Orange coalition is sustainable until the 2009 presidential
elections, and it has real successes, these will prove beneficial in
improving Yushchenko’s standing. If Tymoshenko is still prime minister in
2009, she will not be in a position to run against Yushchenko in the next
presidential elections. If the Orange coalition collapses a second time,
Yushchenko will face Tymoshenko as a strong candidate in the next
presidential race.

The Orange coalition and government will be operating in an improved
climate, compared to the original Tymoshenko ascendancy as prime minister.
In 2005, Tymoshenko had no concrete program, operated with a hostile
Kuchma-era parliament and lacked support from a parliamentary coalition.

This go round, Tymoshenko has a detailed, negotiated program that was born
of these recent, lengthy coalition talks. Tymoshenko now has a parliamentary
coalition to buttress against immediate and wholesale failure.

Other areas remain the same as in 2005. The sustainability of an Orange
coalition and government is dependent on overcoming the personal and
ideological conflicts that plagued 2005 and led to the collapse of
Tymoshenko’s first premiership – and the Orange Revolution coalition, in
September of last year.

Tymoshenko needs to be a better team player, limit her time in the media
spotlight, compliment her old Orange Revolution cohorts, president
Yushchenko and drop any ideas she may have of reprivatization. Out of
government, Tymoshenko has sought to assure investors and Western
governments that she is investor friendly and respects property rights. This
return as prime minister gives Tymoshenko a chance to prove it in practice.

In an ideal world, a Viktor and Yulia show, as The Economist describes it,
would be a match made in heaven. Think back to Czech President Vaclav
Havel and Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus and close your eyes and try and see
Yushchenko and Tymoshenko. Perhaps a soft spoken and democratic
president together with a radical reformer could work wonders inside
Ukraine–as it did in the Czech Republic.

Of course, Ukraine is not the Czech Republic (but Ukraine is also, as Kuchma
wrote in 2004, not Russia). One has yet to see if Yulia Tymoshenko can
become the Margaret Thatcher, whom she compared herself to in a May
interview in the British Spectator magazine.

If the Tymoshenko sequel follows the original script, it will not be Our
Ukraine who will be blamed. Our Ukraine could then find public support in
reforming a coalition and government with the Party of Regions. If the Party
of Regions has any strategic vision it would start preparing for this
political possibility. It would first and foremost need to revamp its image
by jettisoning its discredited leader, Yanukovych, for somebody who is not
associated with the 2004 election fraud.

The three members of the Orange coalition – Our Ukraine, Tymoshenko bloc
and the Socialists – keep telling us that they are committed to
Europeanizing Ukraine through deep and structural reforms. Now is their
chance to prove it. A reinvigorated Orange coalition would appear at an
opportune moment for central and eastern Europe. During the next two years,
‘Europe’ will move eastwards into the western CIS that will itself retreat eastwards.

Ukraine’s accession to the WTO this year ahead of Russia will lead to the
creation of a Deep Free Trade Area (DFTA) with the EU in 2007. The European
Parliament seeks to define the DFTA as ‘Associate Membership’ as it will be
achieved at the same time as the 1998 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement
will be replaced by an ‘Enhanced Agreement’ between the EU and Ukraine.

With an Orange coalition in place, Ukraine is also set to be invited to join
a NATO Membership Action Plan at NATO’s Riga summit this coming
November. An invitation to NATO full membership at NATO’s enlargement
summit in 2008 seems, at least for now, premature.

When Ukraine holds its next presidential elections in 2009, the country will
therefore be an Associate Member of the EU and NATO, which President
Yushchenko (and the Orange Revolution) can take credit for.

These strategically important foreign policy goals will only be achievable
if the reinvigorated Orange coalition actively works to fulfill the promises
of the Orange Revolution, by pursuing and implementing democratic and
economic reforms. Participants in the Orange Revolution wished to see their
country Europeanize and this wish should be implemented by Ukraine’s

The Viktor and Yulia show now have the opportunity to pursue the same
successful Europeanizing reforms in Ukraine as Klaus-Havel undertook in the
Czech Republic. Ukraine’s Orange leaders should do all they can to ensure
that Tymoshenko’s return as prime minister is a lasting and more productive
one. -30-
LINK: http://www.ukraine-observer.com/articles/221/880

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Petro Poroshenko as the double murderer of the Orange Coalition

COMMENTARY: By Andreas Umland
Ukraine-Analysen, No. 10, 27 June 2006
Translated into English by Nykolai Bilaniuk for UKL
The Ukraine List (UKL) #394, compiled by Dominique Arel
Chair of Ukrainian Studies, University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Monday, 3 July 2006

The important question concerning the distribution of posts within the
ruling team of the second Orange Coalition formed 22 June 2006 could hardly
have been answered by Our Ukraine in a more amazing way: A new edition of
the political thriller Yulia Tymoshenko versus Petro Poroshenko.

The controversial but popular former gas princess regained the coveted post
of prime minister. In a strange use of the principle of checks and balances,
“Our Ukraine” is once again placing the unpopular but ambitious chocolate
king Poroshenko at her side – this time in the role of the parliamentary

Already the first Orange Coalition failed because of the fact that the
policies of the prime minister, who had been confirmed by a large majority
of the parliament, was increasingly derailed by Poroshenko, the Security
Council secretary at that time.

In 2005 Poroshenko used his close relationship with President Viktor
Yushchenko (he is the godfather to Yushchenko’s children), in order to push
a creeping expansion of the ill-defined authority of his Security Council,
leading to a gradual undermining of Tymoshenko’s government prerogatives.

Accusations of corruption against Poroshenko finally led to scandal and to
the dismissal both Tymoshenko and Poroshenko, as well as their replacement
by the technocrats Yekhanurov and Kinach.

It is unclear why Our Ukraine believes that the new constellation with
Poroshenko as parliamentary speaker will work any better than the failed
alliance of 2005. Yet now Poroshenko’s function as parliamentary speaker
will nevertheless be to see to the passage of bills introduced in parliament
by the second Tymoshenko government. One could hardly have done a
better job of preprogramming discords within the new coalition.

Also it is incomprehensible why the representative body of Ukraine will now
be led by a figure whose negative rating among the Ukrainian population
reaches record levels of suspicion. Besides, the ideals of the Orange
revolutionaries are subjected to a bizarre mockery: in the eyes of the
voters, the Kuchma oligarchs have only been replaced by other industry
magnates who are no less dubious.

Moreover Poroshenko is being appointed to one of the highest national
honours of Ukraine, a position which was never offered to the Pinchuks and
Akhmetovs of the Kuchma-Yanukovych gang, and which is reminiscent of the
destructive effects for the administration of president Boris Yeltsin of the
political ascent of the similarly unpopular Russian oligarch Boris
Berezovsky .

There is general astonishment at Our Ukraine’s persistence in promoting the
rather hated Poroshenko, and also his recently elevated role in containing
Tymoshenko’s lust for power, which surely is needed.

Although Poroshenko’s finances played an important role in the presidential
elections of 2004, even at that time Tymoshenko’s contribution to
Yushchenko’s success was possibly a more important factor in the triumph
than the ambivalent support of Poroshenko, through her renouncement of
running for the presidency herself, and her effective campaigning for the
Orange cause.

Finally, if one considers the election campaign and the results of the
parliamentary elections of March 2006, one is forced to assume that
Poroshenko carried joint responsibility for the embarrassing performance of
Our Ukraine on this occasion. He was one of the most prominent campaigners
for Our Ukraine, and often the spokesperson for Yushchenko’s alliance, for
example on the popular ICTV talk show “Svoboda Slova”.

It may be assumed that the numerous public appearances of the unpopular
oligarch in Yushchenko’s name contributed to a discrediting of the latter in
the eyes of many voters who had earlier supported him for the presidency of

In light of this constellation, one is already tempted to hope that should
these gloomy prospects be confirmed, that at least the agony of the second,
apparently already half-stillborn democratic alliance will be mercifully

Even observers who sympathise with the ideals of the Orange Revolution may
possibly prefer that Our Ukraine form a “Grand Coalition” with Viktor
Yanukovych’s Party of Regions rather than watch the Orange forces tear
themselves apart publicly. -30-
NOTE: Dr Umland is a DAAD [German Academic Exchange Service] Lecturer
at the National Taras Shevchenko University in Kyiv.
LINK TO UKL: http://www.ukrainianstudies.uottawa.ca
[ return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Russia Profile Experts Panel: Yury Fyodorov, Edward Lozansky,
Anthony T. Salvia, Andrei Seregin, and Andrei Zagorski,
Introduction by Vladimir Frolov, Russia Profile.org,
Moscow, Russia, Friday, 30 June 2006

Ukraine finally has a government.

Three months after the March 2006 election and barely missing a
constitutionally-mandated deadline for assembling a parliamentary majority,
the three political parties that came to power in 2004 after the Orange
revolution in Kiev and then split so resoundingly in the fall of 2005,
decided to try their luck again.

The Our Ukraine party of President Viktor Yushchenko, the Bloc of Yulia
Tymoshenko and the Socialist Party formed a coalition that many analysts
predict will not last more than a few months, plunging the country into a
new crisis sometime in the fall.

There are several reasons for this gloomy scenario. For one, the coalition
commands a tenuous majority of 249 seats in the Verkhovna Rada, the
Ukrainian parliament. This number is only slightly more than the 226
required to form a governing coalition. The defection of any coalition party
leads to an immediate collapse of the government.

Secondly, the relations between the coalition members are extremely tense.
Yulia Tymoshenko will return to the coveted post of Prime Minister, since
her Bloc holds the most seats in the coalition. Because of the
constitutional reforms passed shortly after the Orange Revolution, this
position is the most powerful one in the Ukrainian government. Tymoshenko
therefore eclipses President Yushchenko and has the ability to exert
enormous influence on all aspects of Ukrainian foreign and domestic

But she will effectively be counterbalanced by the choice of Our Ukraine’s
Petro Poroshenko for the post of the speaker in the Rada. Poroshenko feuded
bitterly with Tymoshenko for the prime minister’s position following the
Orange Revolution and most believe that he was responsible for engineering
her dismissal from the job last September. Tymoshenko and Yushchenko have
publicly accused each other of corruption and there is little hope that they
will be able to put their personal differences behind them.

The Socialists had hoped to secure the speaker’s job for their leader,
Alexander Moroz, making them less willing to work with Poroshenko, and,
additionally, they lost control over the powerful Interior Ministry and
State Property Committee.

Even before formally reassuming the duties of prime minister, Tymoshenko has
already ruffled a lot of feathers by announcing that she will review the
infamous gas agreement of January 4, 2006. It doubled the prices for Russian
gas exports to Ukraine while fixing Russian gas transit fees at very
reasonable levels.

The unraveling of the gas agreement might lead to a disruption of gas
supplies to Western Europe. Sensing the danger, former German Chancellor
Gerhard Schroeder warned last week against excessive European dependence on
Ukraine as the only transit country for gas shipments, while Italy’s new
Prime Minister Romano Prodi expressed concern that Ukraine was not filling
up its underground gas storage facilities to ensure uninterrupted gas
supplies to Europe at times of peak consumption.

Prodi’s statements were taken to imply a more general warning to Ukraine not
to let its relationship with Moscow further affect its commitments to

In contrast, new U.S. Ambassador to Kiev, William B. Taylor, Jr., publicly
stated that Washington was ready to assist Ukraine if it wanted to
renegotiate the January gas agreement with Russia.

So, how long will the new Orange coalition last? And what might be the
alternative coalitions? What does Ukraine’s new government mean for its
relationships with both Russia and the West, particularly in light of the
upcoming NATO summit in Riga, which could produce a membership action
plan for Ukraine? Can Ukraine expect any reaction from the G8 on either its
government or its gas policy?


[1] Andrei Zagorski, Associate Professor, MGIMO University:

Ukraine went through an important learning process in negotiating a
political platform for a parliamentary majority. This implies the ability to
compromise and to adhere to the agreement reached. Considering the egos of
those involved, the success of these negotiations should be recognized.
Therefore, the formation of the coalition was more important than the time
it took.

Tymoshenko is a charismatic leader, but she is not free to make any policy
choices. The coalition partners that gave her the majority restrict her
actions. And she is the least likely of the three partners to risk the
coalition’s failure. While Our Ukraine and the Socialists could potentially
form a government with other coalition partners, her Bloc could not.

The issue of NATO accession is just one example of the compromises reached
within the coalition. This policy objective has neither popular support nor
a parliamentary majority, since one of the coalition members, the Socialist
Party, would vote against NATO membership, as would the two opposition

During the coalition negotiations, a reasonable solution was found on this
controversial issue. NATO opponents were reassured that any decision to join
the alliance shall be ratified by a referendum. This means that Ukraine’s
accession is unlikely to happen any time soon. At the same time, it is not
entirely impossible either.

The deal with Gazprom may become a more complicated issue. We don’t know
what Tymoshenko means when she says that she wants to revise the agreement.
But we know that:

a) Gazprom also wants to revise it,
b) any revision will be a highly complex issue reaching far beyond the
bilateral agenda, and
c) the debate over the Ukrainian theft of Russian gas distracts attention
from the real problem in supplying Europe – Russia’s ability to deliver
the supplies regardless of transit issues.

It is obvious that prices will not go down as long as Russian can sell gas
at higher rates to Western Europe. The solution is neither to sell the local
distribution network to Gazprom nor to keep it under state control. A
solution can only be found by increasing the energy efficiency of Ukrainian
industries and liberalizing the country’s gas sector.

This is a lengthy and highly unpopular way. Considering the populist mood of
the Ukrainian government and the pressure from the opposition, it would be
fair to assume that the government will delay this modernization, a move
that will not benefit Ukraine’s own government or its relationship with

[2] Anthony T. Salvia, Special Advisor to the Undersecretary of State
for Political Affairs during the Reagan Administration:

Ukrainian membership in NATO would be bad for Russia, bad for Ukraine and
bad for NATO. First of all, it would signal a fundamental shift in the
organization’s mission, one far more profound than its recent practice of
engaging in out-of-theater operations.

What was created by the architects of Atlantic solidarity as a mechanism for
keeping the Americans in, the Germans down and the Soviets out, would be
reduced to its anti-Russian orientation – a deliberate strike against
Moscow’s most essential interests, something NATO, even at the height of the
Cold War, managed successfully to avoid.

It is a sad and complex tale how the Russians – communism’s principal
victims and the people whom Ronald Reagan sought to liberate – came to be
singled out for harsher treatment than was ever accorded their erstwhile
Soviet overlords. We have remarked in this space before that Washington is
incapable of conceiving of relations with Moscow within any framework other
than satellite or adversary.

That’s too bad, because Russia is the United States’ natural partner in such
vital matters as energy security, the war on terror, and the clear
challenged posed by the rise of radical Islam and China. A major strategic
opportunity is being lost as those in power and those aspiring to power
pursue ideologically motivated pipe dreams that have precious little to do
with U.S. national interest.

The Afghan war has not yet been won, let alone the Iraqi one. The United
States is only barely avoiding crises in Iran and North Korea. Masses of
Mexicans are crossing our long, open border with untold consequences for the
future of the United States, including the prospect of the country becoming
a bigger version of Yugoslavia.

Now, some elements within the administration appear bent on extending the
U.S. nuclear umbrella over a state – Ukraine – that is ridden with divisions
of every kind, corruption, political instability, and tense relations with

This is not the place to review how “democracy, free enterprise and human
rights” came to replace “peace, progress and socialism” as the mantra and
rallying cry of a new earthly utopia. Suffice it to say that the United
States is in need of a thorough reappraisal of its foreign policy in order
to bring it in line with new world realities. The cumulative impact of
ill-advised foreign wars gone badly awry, immigration policy, and the
approaching election cycle may provoke such a review.

A further catalyst could be the mounting of a sophisticated pro-Russian
lobbying effort in Washington. Implicit in U.S.-Russia partnership is the
idea of the validity of national states, the harmonization of interests, and
the security of the Northern Hemispheric countries of greater Europe in the
face of common challenges. In short, an utterly different sort of foreign

[3] Yury Fedorov, Senior Researcher, Chatham House, London:

Of course, the governmental crisis that continued in Ukraine for almost
three months is not a normal attribute of mature democracies. But Ukraine is
not a mature democracy; it is in the middle – or, perhaps, even in the very
beginning – of a thorny transition from the decayed authoritarian regime of
President Leonid Kuchma to a European-type democracy. Ukrainian elites are
still learning to operate in the new “post-authoritarian” political

They have to overcome personal rivalries and antipathies, make difficult
deals and compromises. All this makes political development in Ukraine today
not easy, inevitably chaotic, but promising. The most encouraging fact is
that all Ukrainian political forces agreed that their problems would be
solved by political and legal means only.

Quite probably, the recently formed Orange coalition will be short-lived and
fragile. Yet, this is not worth dramatizing, because it does not really
capture the big picture. Yulia Tymoshenko and her government will manage a
particular set of the most pressing problems; after they do this, another
government may come in to take their place and to deal with other problems,
perhaps employing slightly different methods.

Next time, the coalition may be led by Viktor Yanukovich and his Party of
Regions while Tymoshenko will lead the opposition.

And once again, it is important not to overdramatize this. It is a normal
development for a maturing democratic system, especially in countries that
are making their way out political and economic crises. Such political
practices were typical of Italy in 1960-1970s and France in the days of the
Fourth Republic.

They make a political system much more flexible and thus more effective and
stable than authoritarian regimes, which often look solid yet remain
vulnerable because their highest ranks are paralyzed by a power struggle.

Also, the actual strategic differences between the leading political forces
in Ukraine are minimal; their conflicts, mutual accusations, hostile
rhetoric, and controversies result rather from personal enmity than from
fundamentally opposite approaches to the country’s economic and political

For Russia, the implication is that Ukraine’s drive towards the West is
based on strategic attitudes common to all important political forces,
including the Party of Regions. In particular, the question is not whether
Ukraine will be a member of NATO, but rather when it will happen. And this
depends, at least partly, on Russia’s policy.

The stronger Moscow’s pressure on Ukraine, the faster Kiev will move toward
NATO. This is one of the more important lessons Russia should have learned
from its unsuccessful attempts to prevent NATO’s eastward expansion in the
late 1990s.

Finally, Gazprom may be raising gas prices for economic reasons only. Yet,
in Ukraine, it is perceived as political maneuvering that hurts average
citizens, including those living in the pro-Russian eastern regions and the

[4] Edward Lozansky, President, American University in Moscow:

It looks like Ukraine is becoming, regrettably, a major geopolitical and
economic battleground between the United States and Russia, with Europe
nervously watching from the sidelines. There are two important issues on the
table: Ukraine’s fast-track entry to NATO and the price of Russian gas sold
to Ukraine.

To a neutral observer with no preferential agenda for either side, Russia’s
position looks more justified. All reliable opinion polls show that more
than two-thirds of Ukrainians are against NATO membership, and the recent
NATO protests in Crimea provide symbolic proof of that.

As for the last year’s gas agreement, which Prime Minister-in-waiting Yulia
Tymoshenko now wants to cancel, it is probably not the best accord in the
world. However, it was a pretty reasonable compromise, but no one but
President Yushchenko claimed at the time of the signing that it was a very
good deal – and he continues to make that claim now.

Therefore, U.S. insistence on Ukraine’s entry to NATO before the end of
President George W. Bush’s term in 2008, along with the recent pledge by
Ambassador Taylor to support Ukraine in its dealing with Russia on gas
issues, sound pretty dubious, to say the least. After all, the statements
that continue to come from Ukraine declare, in effect, that “we were
stealing Russian gas in the past, are stealing it now, and will steal it in
the future”.

It is difficult to see how the promotion of a speedy NATO embrace of
Ukraine, which is rejected not only by the pro-Russian southern and eastern
regions but by the population at large, and the de facto U.S. encouragement
of gas siphoning, can be packaged together with the freedom and democracy
crusade. I am sure, however, that spin doctors can come up with the
necessary justification language as long as substantial grants generously
flow into certain NGO coffers.

So what should the Russians do? First of all, they should learn from their
disastrous PR handling of the New Year’s “gas war.” Had they started weekly
briefings in Moscow, Washington and Brussels in March 2005, when Gazprom
first approached Ukraine about renegotiating the gas pricing, and kept
pounding the media with press releases and briefings about Ukraine avoiding
the talks, the results could have been quite different.

Gazprom can easily afford to hire a few U.S. and European PR firms who can
do this job. The Kremlin already made the first step in this direction when
it hired the U.S.-based global PR firm Ketchum to handle the G8 summit in
St. Petersburg.

At this point, it is too early to evaluate the results of Ketchum’s work,
but it is possible to guess that they have already helped Putin to checkmate
the adversaries who have been trying to derail the summit and include some
embarrassing items onto the agenda.

Finally, by getting heavily involved in these two explosive issues in
Ukraine – a country which is inextricably linked to Russia on every level –
the United States is surely on track to make an enemy out of Russia and
accelerate its edging toward China. Is this what we need?

[5] Andrei Seregin, Senior Political Analyst, National Laboratory
for Foreign Policy, Moscow:

A further revision of the Russia-Ukraine gas-deal is almost inevitable,
since it allows Tymoshenko to play the strongest card to encourage Western

Since the new government is held hostage by the contradictions among its key
players, the timing of a new “gas war” between Russia and Ukraine is still
uncertain. I do not believe that Tymoshenko will unleash this nasty war of
words just before the G8 summit.

It’s also close to impossible nowadays to see Kiev’s full membership in NATO
by the end of the year – my guess is that the upper limit of Ukrainian
expectations for the forthcoming Riga summit is the Membership Action Plan
for Ukraine.

The Ukrainian premier is more likely to make up her mind to start a conflict
with Moscow following both the G8 summit and a possible visit by President
Bust. Although such a visit has been postponed, Ukraine is still on the
White House’s diplomatic shortlist.

Still, the general Ukrainian foreign policy trend is quite clear. Tymoshenko
won’t resist the temptation of presenting the gas dispute as the centerpiece
of Ukraine’s foreign policy agenda. Fighting the “corrupt and
non-transparent nature” of Russian energy supplies to Ukraine will help her
appeal to the West, since last year’s transaction is already under close
investigation by the U.S. Justice Department.

In the nearest future, the Orange coalition will surely have enough tensions
from within. A recent decision to have a package confirmation vote on the
positions of prime minister and speaker of the Rada simultaneously – a
decision that many observers do not consider to be consistent with the
country’s constitution – reflects the depth of contradictions among the
principal allies.

Certainly the uniting discipline within the Party of Regions and the
Communists is considerably higher than the ties between Our Ukraine, the
Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko and the Socialists. The parties now in the
opposition will clearly try to block the work of the Rada in the hope of new

So, under strong pressure both from within and outside the coalition,
Tymoshenko will inevitably need to take a more populist stance, essentially
biased against Russia. The choice of gas seems to be a win-win combination
for her, since the deal is perceived as unfair by the Ukrainian
establishment, expert community and the public. This attitude is widely
shared by Ukraine’s Western partners, particularly the United States.

The big problem here concerns not only a revision of a contentious gas deal
to get better margin or better pricing. Tymoshenko will no doubt seek a
larger bargain, with notably higher stakes – presenting the West with a
useful stranglehold on the Kremlin’s gas elite.

Tymoshenko may hold the strongest cards in the broader context of western
rivalry with Russia over its new energy-fueled assertiveness on world stage.
The United States won’t pay her for Russian gas; instead, it will pay her
for being a key element of the U.S. strategy of coping with Russian energy
policy. -30-
LINK: http://www.russiaprofile.org/experts_panel/2006/6/30/3991.wbp
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.

The Ukrainian Observer magazine, The Willard Group
Kyiv, Ukraine, July 2006

After three months of sometimes open but mostly behind the curtain
negotiations, what passes for political leadership in Ukraine appears ready
to continue quarreling over even the smallest seats of power while larger
issues go untended and unmitigated.

As the Ukrainian Observer went to press, it was unclear whether the Orange
Revolution would successfully morph itself into the Orange coalition – for a
second time – and take on at least the appearance of being a government.

In reality it seemed to matter little since the scenes played out in the
parliament over recent days strongly suggest that no matter who wears the
hats of prime minister and speaker of the parliament, there will be
barricades around the speaker’s rostrum – and general chaos for many months
to come.

With a president who sometimes seems hardly to exist and many other major
political players spending great amounts of time grasping for power and
positioning themselves for the next presidential race, one can hardly
imagine any serious and stable use of presidential, administrative and
parliamentary powers in the near future.

The situation has degenerated to the point that it is possible-and
likely-that the president will soon have the necessary legal grounds for
dismissing the parliament, based on its failure to establish a working
majority, and ordering new parliamentary elections.

However, that seems to matter little since neither President Viktor
Yushchenko nor any of the other major political players has any stomach for
a chaotic – and expensive – second set of parliamentary elections this year.

The June 22 press conference, announcing the establishment of the new Orange
coalition, did little to dispel doubts about its stability when the parties
to the coalition immediately after the press conference began expressing
questions about exactly what was included in the package.

As might have been expected, the Blue forces of the Party of the Regions
took considerable umbrage at being denied any parliamentary committee chairs
and resorted to one of the oldest legislative tools of Ukraine, by blocking
the parliament speaker’s rostrum with its small army of Blue deputies.

Since almost every important committee chair had been ceded to control of
the largest Orange faction, the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (BYuT), it was hard to
see how they would be willing to give up their hard-won gains. As always,
there was the customary, intensive backroom bargaining – but no tangible
evidence that a mutually acceptable compromise was forthcoming.

According to the coalition’s founding principles the party that received the
largest number of seats in the parliament would be entitled to nominate the
prime minister, the second largest membership would nominate the speaker of
the parliament and the third would be allowed to nominate a vice prime

From the beginning, this arrangement came under attack based on the premise
that Our Ukraine, already with its titular head as president of the country,
should not be allowed to also name the speaker of parliament. Tymoshenko
agreed with the Socialists, that the speakership should go to the Socialist
Party of Ukraine (SPU), which in practical terms would have ensured that
former speaker and SPU leader, Oleksandr Moroz, would be elected to a
second, non-consecutive term as speaker.

Our Ukraine balked at these notions and used strongly hints of a Grand
Coalition with the Blue forces to beat down the BUTY-SPU move.

When the final list apportioning power positions was announced, BYuT had
been allotted the post of prime minister (obviously the plum position so
greatly desired by faction head Tymoshenko) and would be allowed to name the
ministers of the following ministries: Agro-Industrial Complex; Building and
Architecture; Economics; Finance; Fuel and Energy; Coal Industry;
Emergencies; Health; Culture & Tourism, as well as the head of the national
energy giant – Naftogaz Ukrainy.

Our Ukraine, the second coalition partner, would be allowed to name the
speaker of the parliament (most likely Petro Poroshenko, but Anatoliy Kinakh
and Yuriy Yekhanurov are said to be on the short list), the vice prime
minister for administrative reform (which failed under Our Ukraine’s Roman
Bezsmertniy in 2005), plus the ministers of Labor and Social Policy;
Industrial Policy; Family; Youth and Sports; and Internal Affairs.

The Socialists would name the first vice speaker (expected to be Iosif
Vinsky, the right hand of SPU leader Moroz) and the ministers of
Environmental Protection; Education & Science; and Transport &

In previous times, the sitting president had always been allowed to name all
heads of the so-called force ministries – covering just about anyone in
Ukraine legally empowered to carry a gun – but as part of the truncation of
presidential powers, under constitutional reform, current and future
presidents would name only the ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense.

Judging by the triumphal speech given by Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk,
immediately after the signing of the coalition agreement, Tarasyuk clearly
believes he will be retained in his current position.

However, there is very wide consensus that Tarasyuk’s removal will be one of
the main demands by the Russians, before they are willing to enter
meaningful negotiations on a new natural gas contract. Keeping Tarasyuk in
his current position would be very unwise and ultimately too high a price to

One observer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Ukrainian
Observer that “…if Tarasyuk stays as Minister of Foreign Affairs, the
Russians will feel nothing has changed.” A former very high-level Kuchma
administration official, highly regarded in both Moscow and Washington, is
thought to be the most likely Tarasyuk replacement.

Even if Regions suffers an immediate tactical loss with the approval of the
Orange coalition agreement, the most fervent Orange partisans are skeptical
as to the coalition’s hold on power. Most analysts give the Tymoshenko
government just a few months of life, although a few of the most optimistic
believe it could last a year or longer.

Taras Chornovil, a Regions faction leader, chose to be very specific in his
views of Orange coalition longevity. “This circus show will be repeated in
autumn, when the president will start telling everyone that everything is
too bad in Ukraine,” Chornovil said, referring to last September’s events
with the previous Tymoshenko government.

In 2005, Tymoshenko was at the helm of the government for seven and one-half
months. The smart political money is betting that her tenure this time might
be even shorter.

For Tymoshenko, the return to dealing with government problems will be like
meeting a group of old friends. There has been little or no progress on many
of the issues and problems that were paramount when Tymoshenko was initially
Since the president, in collaboration with the foreign ministry, determines
foreign policy, Ukraine’s course toward European and Euro-Atlantic
integration will remain unchanged, as agreed in the founding charter of the
Orange coalition.

The generally accepted premise that Ukraine would use a relatively easy NATO
accession as a way station on the road to full European Union membership was
severely dented and perhaps even permanently damaged by the violent and
persistent anti-NATO protests in Crimea this past May.

The enormity of the anti-NATO reaction pointed out an increasingly obvious
fact, i.e. that talk in the halls of power about NATO accession had almost
no support in the form of a seriously intensive, widespread and effective
pro-NATO information campaign.

Suddenly, the top levels of government in Kyiv, Brussels, London and
Washington understood that they had not just dropped the ball, but they
didn’t even know where the ball was or how to play it. Whether or not this
miscalculation can be overcome in the near future is very much in doubt.

Russia, a geopolitical actor that cannot be ignored, is keen to see the
first steps taken by the new government. Aggressive and provocative behavior
of some Russian politicians is just the tip of the Russian iceberg, with
even more ominous and dangerous rumblings below the surface.

Presidents Yushchenko and Putin once described relations between Kyiv and
Moscow as pragmatic, but this term was misunderstood by both Russian and
Ukrainian political players. Moscow is waiting for a signal promising mutual
benefits from economic cooperation.

A point listed in the Orange coalition agreement could articulate one such
signal. Notably, Ukraine’s cooperation with the Common Economic Space – the
Russia dominated economic bloc whose members include Russia, Ukraine,
Belarus and Kazakhstan. The neo-Orange coalition will insist on a free trade
area, with the other conditions set by Russia negotiated on a case-by-case
basis, based on Ukraine’s national interests.

“The first ‘must be done’ is fighting the chaos in the energy system, and
fighting the chaos in energy price making and prices for communal services,”
said Tymoshenko in detailing her priorities. Tymoshenko said her first move
as prime minister would be reviewing the price paid by Ukraine for Russian
natural gas.

Tymoshenko’s new government is fortunate to be getting launched in the
summer, perhaps providing a less stressful re-entry period before fall
brings intense political heat and a possible collision course with the
Regions Party.

Ukraine is believed to have adequate petrol to make it through the harvest
season, but should the looming energy battle not get resolved before the
beginning of the winter heating season in mid-October, a natural gas problem
could quickly become a national and international disaster of major
proportions, possibly even dwarfing the cutoffs of Russian natural gas to
Europe last winter.

Many observers believe that appointing an energy negotiator that is a
Regions’ stalwart would be a smart and prudent move. Moscow still has
problems with Tymoshenko, hates Tarasyuk and hopes to have seen the last
of the western Ukrainian nationalist who negotiated the last agreement.

Russian Duma deputy Konstantin Zatulin said that the gas agreements are the
subject of a compromise between the two countries. “If Ms. Tymoshenko wants
to review them, it will be necessary to have a mutual desire, including that
of the Russian party,” Zatulin said recently. Russian political expert
Sergey Markov of the Institute for Political Research said he is sure that
Tymoshenko’s idea of reviewing natural gas prices could lead to a prolonged
impasse on the issue, and could seriously affect gas supplies to Europe.

In the new Tymoshenko government (assuming it actually gets a narrow margin
of victory in the parliament) certain words appear likely to be erased from
the Tymoshenko lexicon. The word so oft-heard during the previous Tymoshenko
government, “reprivatization,” tops the list of words that all her coalition
partners hope to hear less of this time round.

While no one doubts that many suspicious privatizations – and some that were
blatantly corrupt – occurred in the ten years prior to the Yushchenko
presidency, the costs of righting old wrongs has already proven to be
extremely divisive. Windfalls of the type that came with the reprivatization
of the Kryvorizhstal steel mill are almost certainly a thing of the past.

The list of problems requiring the government’s intense attention is a very
long and expensive one. With higher natural gas prices will come an
inevitable drain on both public and private resources. This summer of
discontent may soon be remembered with fondness and nostalgia.
LINK: http://www.ukraine-observer.com/articles/221/881
[return to index ] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Adoption of Ukrainian Constitution on June 28, 1996 was pivotal event

PRESENTATION: By Ambassador Roman Shpek in Brussels
Head of the Mission of Ukraine to the European Union
New Europe, Athens, Greece, Monday, July 3, 2006

Ambassador Roman Shpek, the head of the Mission of Ukraine to EU, told a
debate in the European Parliament dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the
adoption of the Constitution of Ukraine that it’s a very stirring moment for
him personally because he was an immediate participant in these historic
event that took place on the “constitutional night” in Ukrainian Parliament
10 years ago.

“As a deputy of the Ukrainian Parliament at that time, I had the honour to
put my signature under the agreed text of the first Constitution of the
Independent Ukraine,” Shpek said. “The process of creation of the modern
Ukrainian state took place in difficult times of political, economic and
social transformations.

Modern history has no examples of such fast and complex transition from the
rigid totalitarian system to a new democratic society with the open market
economy. Therefore, Ukraine can not be compared with the other
post-socialist European countries, which went throw the same transition from
a much more favourable starting point,” the ambassador said.

Under the conditions of a drastic and total break down of the previous
political system, state structure and way of life, adoption of the Ukrainian
Constitution on June 28, 1996 was pivotal historical event.

“This act was a final step in transforming Ukraine from the constituent part
of former Soviet Union into an independent state with own political,
financial and monetary systems, government structures, armed forces,
cultural and educational institutions.

The Constitution also laid the civil society organisations and the
multi-party system, provided the basic tenets for the protection of rights
of the national minorities,” he said.

At the same time, the realities of political and civil developments of
Ukraine at the time of adoption of the Constitution significantly affected
the content of the document, which has become a result of a political
compromise. The draft of the Constitution as prepared by the working group
of the Constitutional Commission had features of an integral and consistent
legal document. However, the life made some corrections, Shpek said.

“Today, looking at the complicated process of adoption of the EU
Constitutional Treaty I can not help but make the same historical parallels.
I remember very well the vortex of emotions, which reigned on that
‘constitutional night’ in the Session Hall of the Ukrainian parliament as
well as the intensive “behind-the-scenes” work on separate articles of the

Whereas the articles on human rights and civil liberties can serve as an
example of clarity and accuracy, the imperfections of the constitutionally
set mechanism of organisation of power continues to breed the conflicts
between the legislative and executive branches,” he said.

“The Constitution of Ukraine created a legal base of our state. It embodies
the greatest achievements of the Ukrainian and international constitutional
theory and practice of constitutional development. It is also takes into
account historical experience of Ukrainian nation: its national concept and
mentality. The Ukrainian Constitution provides legal guaranties for
democracy, economic independence and offers guidelines for Ukraine’s
action at the international stage,” he said.

“As a child of the ‘art of the impossible’ our Constitution calls for
further development of a number of legal acts. First of all we talk about
the Law on the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. It is very important,
especially in the light of the recent events around the creation of the
parliamentary coalition, that we adopt a legal act, which delineates the
status, rights and duties of the democratic opposition,” Shpek said.

In a historical perspective the outcomes of the March parliamentary
elections will have a significant importance to Ukraine. It was the first
time in 15 years since the former Soviet republic has had democratic
parliamentary elections. “For the first time, as stated in our Constitution,
creation of the parliamentary coalition has been carried out on the
democratic basis.

For the first time the forming of the government is carried out by the
political forces which constitute a parliament majority. For the first time
the same majority elaborated the coalition agreement, which defines the
basic principles of the actions in domestic and foreign policy,” the
ambassador said.

The creation of the “Orange coalition” gave the clear evidence of the 2004
Orange Revolution continuity. It means that the best-performing in the March
election party Regions of Ukraine remains in opposition. The situation of
having both the ruling and the opposition political forces in the parliament
is usual for the countries with the long-standing historical and
parliamentary traditions.

As for Ukraine, we are just at the beginning of this process, Shpek said.
[ return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Second thoughts about opening door for Ukraine, Georgia, three Balkan states

REUTERS, Brussels, Belgium, Monday July 3, 2006

BRUSSELS – NATO is having second thoughts about opening the door to
membership for Ukraine, Georgia and three Balkan states at a summit slated
for early 2008, alliance diplomats said on Monday.

They cited a raft of concerns, including doubts over NATO’s ability to
digest new members after 2004’s expansion, the alliance’s unpopularity in
some aspiring states and the failure of several entry hopefuls to implant
democratic reforms.

Even Washington, an advocate of Ukrainian and Georgian aspirations, has
struck a more cautious tone of late, with one senior U.S. official noting
the positive mood within NATO towards Ukraine’s drive had “dissipated” in
recent months.

“There is a general decrease in enthusiasm in NATO for enlargement,” said
one senior alliance diplomat of a trend that mirrors the cooling over the
past year in the European Union to taking in new members from the east.

After NATO took in seven ex-communist states in 2004, the United States
called last year for an “enlargement summit” in early 2008 to pave the way
for more entrants.

While no one in the alliance is so far ruling out that NATO leaders will use
the meeting to welcome in at least one of the five countries waiting in
line, there is growing talk in the alliance that 2008 may be too early.

The euphoria of the 2004 pro-Western “Orange Revolution” long gone,
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko still has no government three months
after March polls and has struggled to react to small but noisy anti-NATO
protests in the Crimea peninsula this month sparked by U.S. preparations for
war games.

“The positive atmosphere at NATO (towards Ukraine)… has dissipated in the
face of several factors,” U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for
European and Eurasian Affairs David Kramer told a conference in Washington
in June.

Kramer cited Ukrainian polls showing support for NATO at barely 18-20
percent, the Crimea protests, infighting within the “Orange” democratic camp
and lagging economic reforms.

NATO diplomats said it was increasingly likely Kiev would have to wait until
a NATO summit in Latvia this November before being granted a “membership
action plan”, making entry in early 2008 — or merely an invitation then —
an uphill task.

Georgia’s case is more complex, raising the question of whether NATO’s
borders should extend to the south Caucasus. “Georgia is European in
civilisation terms. But is it European in strategic terms?” said one envoy.

Tbilisi’s disputes with Moscow over two rebel regions backed by Russia are a
further obstacle and were one reason why Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli did
not formally meet alliance ambassadors during a visit to NATO last month,
envoys said.

“There was no point — we had nothing to offer him,” said one, adding that
Nogaideli had wanted assurances from NATO that preliminary talks on closer
ties would be accelerated.

Question marks are also growing over Croatia, Macedonia and Albania — three
eastern states left out of the 2004 expansion.

Persistent corruption in Albania, violence in Macedonia ahead of Wednesday’s
elections and the slow pace of reform in Croatia are compounding doubts over
their readiness. -30-
[ return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, July 3, 2006

KYIV – NATO hopes that Ukraine will continue its policy aimed at integration
with Europe and the Alliance after the new government is formed.

Michel Duray, Director of NATO Information and Documentation Center in
Ukraine, told this at the international conference concerning the
transatlantic market of arms, political factors and economic expediency.

As Duray noted in his speech, the talks that cooperation between Ukraine and
NATO will destroy this country’s defense industry are a myth. He said that
at present there exists healthy competition among all NATO members, which is
ok, and this competition existed before their accession to NATO.

Duray noted that today Europe’s attention is focused on Ukraine. ‘We hope
that Ukraine’s next government will continue its Euro-Atlantic integration
policy,’ Duray said.

He noted that NATO is ready to provide all types of assistance to Ukraine,
though the final outcome depends only on Ukraine.

Duray also said that today NATO and Russia are strategic partners and plan
to develop cooperation in future.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the parliamentary coalition set up on
June 22 pledges to make a decision on Ukraine’s accession to NATO based on
results of a national referendum.

In mid-April Ukraine elaborated the Plan of Actions on NATO membership.
Ukraine plans to begin implementation of the Plan of Actions on NATO
membership in September. Ukraine hopes to become a NATO member in 2008.
LINK: http://www.ukranews.com/eng/index_high.html
[ return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
If you are receiving more than one copy of the AUR please contact us.

Belapan news agency, Minsk, in Russian 1536 gmt 4 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, Jul 04, 2006

MINSK – “It is evident at present that the USA will make consistent efforts
to break up the CIS along its political line,” the chairman of the Standing
Commission for International Affairs and National Security in the National
Assembly’s Council of the Republic [parliament’s upper house], Mikalay
Charhinets, said on 4 July, speaking at a workshop on topical issues of
[Russian-Belarusian] union state construction in Silichy (Lahoysk District).

The event was organized by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of
Belarus and Russia. “The West, above all the USA, have managed to entrench
themselves in many republics over the 15 years since the USSR’s collapse,”
Charhinets said.

“On the other hand, the open aggressiveness of local ‘westerners’, which
acquired the form of `coloured revolutions’, has resulted in the appearance
of resistance in some CIS states, becoming a turning point for the policies
of the Russian Federation that is growing strong.”

He said the CIS territory “has actually become the scene of rivalry among
major players represented by the USA, the EU, Russia and, to a lesser
degree, by China, Turkey, Japan and some other countries”.

[Passage omitted: Charhinets says that some CIS countries have been pursuing
the policies aimed at their integration to the EU and NATO.]

At the same time, the West has been demonstrating its cautious attitude to
union state construction and the implementation of the agreement on the
creation of the Single Economic Space (SES) of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia
and Ukraine, Charhinets said.

Charhinets believes that the EU’s influence continues growing in the CIS
western regions. “The EU uses the European outlook that is being advocated
by Ukraine and Moldova to direct the policies of Kiev and Chisinau towards
the channels necessary for the EU and to use them as a counterbalance to the
Russian influence, among other things,” he said.

The growing US activities in the CIS are aimed, above all, at preventing the
post-Soviet space from consolidating around Russia and impeding the
integration processes within the framework of the CIS, the SES and the
Eurasian Economic Community, the chairman of the international commission in
the Belarusian parliament’s upper house concluded. -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.

By Alex Nicholson, Associated Press Business Writer
AP, Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 4, 2006

MOSCOW – State dominance in the oil and gas sector means Russia is an
energy hazard to its Group of Eight partners rather than a guarantor of secure
supplies, a one-time economic adviser to President Vladimir Putin said

Andrei Illarionov, who served as Putin’s envoy to previous meetings of the
Group of Eight major industrialized nations, warned that the Kremlin’s
growing role in the oil and gas sector runs counter to the theme of energy
security Russia has selected as the focal point of the G-8 summit it is
hosting next week.

“Where you have state companies, security ends and danger arises,”
Illarionov, who resigned as Putin’s adviser last year to protest what he
called the government’s backtracking on freedoms, told a news conference.
“The model of a state monopoly is an energy hazard to the world. It presents
the world with the threat that energy supplies can be broken off at any
moment for political, not economic reasons.”

The rise of the state’s role in the oil sector began with the transfer of
the Yukos oil company’s biggest production unit to state oil company Rosneft
after its auction against a disputed multibillion-dollar back tax bill in

Last year, the state increased its share of gas monopoly OAO Gazprom, which
supplies a quarter of the gas Europe consumes, to a controlling interest.
Soon after that the company bought Russian oil major Sibneft from tycoon
Roman Abramovich.

Illarionov said Russia itself underscored the precariousness of energy
supplies at the very start of its year as G-8 chairman. In an ugly New
Year’s price dispute with Ukraine, Russia switched off the gas to its
ex-Soviet neighbor, temporarily disrupting flows to Europe and leading to
panicked calls in the EU to diversify supplies.

While Russia cast the dispute as a long-overdue move to market pricing,
observers said the price increase had been bulldozed through to undermine
Ukraine’s Western-leaning government.

As Putin prepares to host world leaders for the July 15-17 summit in St.
Petersburg, Illarionov and other Kremlin opponents are organizing an
alternative conference on July 11-12 called “Other Russia” aimed at uniting
Russia’s opposition and non-governmental organizations.

Earlier in the week, Russia’s current G-8 envoy, Igor Shuvalov, said the
Kremlin would view the attendance of high-ranking foreign officials as “an
unfriendly gesture.” “I follow the statements made by Russian officials
with amazement,” Illarionov said of those comments Tuesday.

While Russia’s year as chairman of the G-8 should have been a “triumph” for
Russia in which it demonstrated its commitment to developing democracy,
Illarionov said, it had only served to show how much Russia had fallen

“Over the past four years in respect of … political democracy, Russia
today is much further from the other members of this club than it was in
2002,” he said. -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

By Ethan S. Burger, Esq., Scholar-in-Residence
School of International Service, American University

Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TRACCC)
American University, Washington, D.C., June 2006

Now, Francis Fukayama has acknowledged that his “end of history”
thesis was wrong. He had a good title for a book but a concept that
bore little relationship with the succession of civilizations. In
particular, he overlooked that throughout the course of human history
nationalism and religion have shown themselves to be the most important
factors driving international politics.

The constituent components of the principal parties that made possible
the “Orange Revolution” have finally recognized that it is easier
to obtain political power than to exercise it. Political borders are
not permanent – a fact understood in Kyiv (Kiev) and Moscow. How
committed the Regions Party, led by unsuccessful presidential candidate
Victor Yanukovych to Ukraine’s existing borders is not a settled

Eastern and Southern Ukraine are largely ethnically Russian in
composition. Russian history books make much of the connection
between today’s Russia and “Kievan Rus.” At present is far from clear
what percentage of this group sees its future with Russia, as opposed
to Ukraine. This is a dynamic process. The attitude of the population
in the region is likely to be fickle and will probably be influenced by
economic and political conditions in Russia and Ukraine in the future.

Demographers are trying to predict the year when Russians will
constitute a minority of the Russian Federation’s populations.
Political scientists, intelligence officers, participants in the energy
market, and risk analysts are contemplating the implications of the
country having a Moslem majority.

Incorporating Eastern Ukraine and Belarus into either the Russian
Federation or some new entity can push Moscow’s day of reckoning
back. Russian governmental programs to encourage Russian families to
have more children are not likely to achieve their goal, much less
reverse the country’s brain drain.

The Ukrainian government desperately needs to convince ethnic Russians
currently living in Ukraine that a country with close ties to the EU
(and possibly even NATO), is better for its Russians. It will need to
devote considerable resources to achieve this outcome. Whether it will
succeed is impossible to predict.

Consequently, the Orange Coalition must recognize that if it is to
preserve the country within its current borders and pursue the policies
it has announced it wants to follow, its members must put personalities
and egos aside and cooperate. Moscow is almost certainly going to play
the “energy card” if it suits its purposes. -30-
LINK: http://www.american.edu/traccc
[ return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

OPINION: International Herald Tribune (IHT)
Paris, France, Sunday, July 2, 2006

Russia is feeling set upon these days. Whether it’s losing the takeover
battle for the European steel giant Arcelor, or taking it on the chin from
Vice President Dick Cheney, or bracing for all the lectures it will hear at
the Group of 8 summit meeting in St. Petersburg, the Russians are baring
their rhetorical teeth in resentment.

The latest retort was from Vladislav Surkov, a deputy chief of staff in the
Kremlin, who told foreign reporters that Russia was tired of being treated
as if it had lost the Cold War.

After Aleksei Mordashov and his Severstal steel company lost out to Mittal
in the fight for Arcelor, Russian officials and newspapers charged that the
reason was a rampant Russophobia – a bias against Russia, its businesses and
businessmen. Even Mikhail Gorbachev, no friend of President Vladimir Putin,
has complained about Western meddling in Russian affairs.

We can appreciate Russia’s frustration at being lectured to by Cheney, and
there was an indisputable element of Russophobia in the battle for Arcelor.
But the fact is that the Europeans were even more crass in their attacks on
Lakshmi Mittal, the Indian steel tycoon who finally gained the upper hand in
the Arcelor saga by producing the better bottom line.

And however hypocritical Cheney might be in lecturing anyone about human
rights – especially just before heading off to court President Nursultan
Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, hardly a paragon of civic virtue – that does not
mean he was wrong. However irritating the Western sermons might be, the
Russians should ask why it is that the Western world has turned so sharply

Russia is a proud nation, and it has every reason to be proud of what it has
achieved over the past two decades. It rid itself of a totalitarian system,
it released its colonies and dependencies and it overcame a terrifying
economic near-collapse – and it did all this largely through its own

But Western countries are right to be uneasy about the steady expansion of
the powers of the state under Putin, so that the Kremlin now effectively
controls the major television networks, the Duma, the courts and the major
industrial and energy enterprises.

The Kremlin retorts that the oligarchs were not a “market economy,” that the
Duma was corrupt, the courts unreliable, the economy uncontrolled. There’s
a lot of truth to that, and it was incumbent on the government to regain
control over the country and restore security to the people.

Yet unless its efforts are coupled with a visible, constant and honest
effort to instill the rule of law and to establish institutions of
democratic rule, they look too much like an inexorable drive toward a new
autocracy, and the West will say that. The memory of the Soviet Union is
too fresh. -30-
LINK: http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/07/02/opinion/edrussia.php
[ return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Europe and Russia are today poised to pull Belarus, Moldova
and Ukraine in two different directions.

OPINION: By Charles William Maynes, The St. Petersburg Times,
St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, June 30, 2006, Issue #1182(48)

In the decade that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union, Europe was
concerned but not worried about the decline of Russia. The European Union
did not at the time regard its great neighbor as a political or economic
problem; Russia was retreating from empire, and as it grew weaker it
appeared less threatening.

Over the past five years, though, the Russian economy has begun to revive
and Russia’s government has made gains in policy coherence, if not always in
directions to Europe’s liking. Today, the question is whether Europe has the
policy tools to deal with this new phenomenon.

Europe has become the most successful peaceful power in history. It has
rendered inconceivable the very idea of war in Western and Central Europe.
In the Balkans, its strongest argument is that if the states of that region
behave properly toward one another, they too can join the European Union.

Europe cannot, of course, expand indefinitely, and each country must secure
its own future. Nonetheless, Europe must recognize that its soft power is
substantially reduced when dealing with any country that is barred from
membership. It must therefore seek new sources of soft power.

Where might the EU’s soft power lie in the case of Russia? Europe should
consider three key steps: First, it should develop some middle ground
between membership and rejection. Europe and Russia are today poised to
pull Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine in two different directions.

When the Orange Revolution took place in Kiev, major figures in Europe
talked publicly about Ukraine now being on “their side.” Such an approach to
the problems of Ukraine is disastrous. It is impossible to draw a new line
between Russia and Ukraine without severe economic consequences for Ukraine,
unless of course the European Union is willing to mount a major financial
assistance program.

Last winter’s gas imbroglio also sheds light on this issue. Whatever the
deficiencies of the Russian approach, and there were many, it was and is a
delusion for Europeans to believe that any Russian government would
subsidize through cheap energy Ukraine’s drawing away from Russia to move
closer to Europe. If Europe wanted Ukraine on its side, it would have to
mount an aid program that would compensate Ukraine for the loss of an energy
subsidy worth more than $1 billion per year.

By the same token, some U.S. strategists are misguided if they believe that
Russia would want to maintain its energy subsidy to Ukraine so as to ease
Ukraine’s entry to NATO. No government in the world would consent to such an
arrangement, so why should we expect Russia to behave any differently?

Finding a place for Russia in a larger European design could do much to
alleviate the tension that is building up. One solution might be to design a
special trading regime of wide-ranging cooperation with the specific aim of
developing more organic ties between Europe and Russia. Could the EU and
Russia cooperate on a major development in aircraft design? Could they work
together on nuclear energy, now that it seems to be entering a new phase of

What is needed is not so much a laundry list of objectives but a
time-structured negotiation that would make progress possible. If more
organic links between Europe and Russia could be encouraged, then, were
Ukraine or Belarus to join the European Union in years to come, it would be
far less traumatic for Russia than today.

The West, for its part, should begin speaking up in favor of altering NATO
practices so that any further expansion of the alliance seems less of a
threat to Russia. When the Baltic states joined NATO, U.S. jets were soon
flying along the Russian border only a few kilometers from St. Petersburg.

There was no security reason at all for this provocative forward movement of
American power. Today, 95 percent of the still enormous nuclear arsenals of
Russia and the United States are dedicated to the destruction of each other.
It is as if the Cold War had never ended.

[1] The Europeans should press the United States and Russia to enter into
serious discussions about substantial further reductions in their nuclear
arsenals, so that they no longer pose a threat either to one another or to
Europe. They should press the Americans and the Russians to enter into
negotiations that would lead to a pledge of no first use of nuclear weapons
in Europe. Such a stance would be soft power with an edge. After all, who
has a greater stake in the reduction of continental arsenals than Europe?

[2] Second, Europe should want to recognize more openly than in the past its
shared interest with the United States in Russia’s democratic development.
Several years ago, I suggested to the former head of a European aid program
that U.S.-European cooperation made sense when giving assistance to Russia,
but received the answer that cooperation was impossible since America was
the enemy because its real goal in helping Russia was to gain market share

That was a remarkably shortsighted view of the stakes involved in Russia’s
political and economic evolution. Although Europe will of course want to
fashion its own assistance programs, internal EU regulations in any case now
make it very difficult for Europe to cooperate with fellow democratic
countries in supporting civil society in Russia.

Yet, in the difficult period through which Russian civil society is passing,
a common approach, at times involving a measure of co-funding, could yield
benefits. Together, we could show much-needed solidarity with the struggling
civil society community in Russia. The aim would be to find a common
dialogue to encourage partnerships between civil society in Europe and
America on the one hand and in Russia on the other.

[3] Third, Europe should develop a more audible policy voice on Russian
issues. Many individual EU countries have special interests peculiar to
their own circumstances that cause them to hesitate to address Russia’s
larger political issues.

Not every European country has the same degree of interest in these issues,
and this lack of shared concern enables Russian officials to discount the
importance of individual European voices and attribute allegedly
anti-Russian feelings to criticisms from individual European states. A
serious European policy could effectively short-circuit this tactic.

In developing more tools to deal with an emerging Russia, the stakes for
Europe are enormous. What Europe has accomplished over the past 50 years
should be the envy of the rest of the world, but much of that progress could
be jeopardized if, as the Ukrainian government recently warned with respect
to European efforts to disengage from some of its neighbors, we end up
creating new devils to the east through policies of isolation or neglect.

Charles William Maynes ( bmaynes@eurasia.org) is president of the Eurasia
Foundation, Washington, D.C. The entire article appeared in the magazine
Europe’s World:

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Says NATO is hostile to Russia and to entire orthodox civilization

Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 0948 gmt 4 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, July 4, 2006

KIEV – The metropolitan of Odessa and Izmail of the Ukrainian Orthodox
Church (of the Moscow Patriarchy), Agafangel, has expressed his protest
against Ukraine’s joining NATO and the EU and has also demanded that the
Russian language be given the status of a state language. Interfax-Ukraine
news agency reports that Agafangel said this in Moscow at a round-table

“Now there is a lot of talk about Ukraine’s European choice, about Ukraine’s
accession to NATO and the EU. The rulers of Ukraine are trying to persuade
us that this will in no way harm our friendly relations with Russia.

But it is absolutely clear that NATO is a body that is hostile to Russia and
to the entire orthodox civilization,” metropolitan Agafangel said. According
to metropolitan Agafangel, Ukraine’s striving for Europe is “also extremely

“This is another attempt to implement the centuries-old intention of the
Protestant and Catholic, masonic and godless West to divert Ukraine from
unity with the world’s centre of the orthodox religion – Moscow – and to
pull Ukraine into the sphere of western false values, to make it a part of
the new world order,” metropolitan Agafangel said.

[Passage omitted: metropolitan Agafangel demands that the Russian language
be granted the status of a state language, blames West for a split between
Serbia and Montenegro.] -30-

[ return to index] Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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U.S., Great Britain & Denmark intimidate and stifle independent journalism

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The International Federation of Journalists said today it is alarmed by
mounting attacks on media and whistleblowers by Western governments
trying to hide potentially illegal or damaging actions and statements.

“It is unacceptable to see countries like the United States, Great Britain,
and Denmark trying to intimidate and stifle independent journalism,” said
Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary, “while others, like Germany and the
Netherlands, are caught out snooping on media and tapping the telephones
of journalists.”

The IFJ says that a global crackdown on investigative journalism led by
countries that are supposed to be models of democracy is repressive and is
depriving people of their basic rights – “most importantly the right of
citizens to know what their government is doing.”

There have been numerous attacks on media in the US and Europe in recent
months, with governments often defending their actions in the name of
protecting public safety or “fighting the war on terrorism.”

The latest case involves the New York Times, which has faced a barrage of
heavy criticism from President George Bush and other Republican officials
and pundits for its detailed expose of US security services monitoring
hundreds of thousands of international bank transactions. Some Republican
lawmakers say criminal charges should be brought against the reporters who
broke the story.

In the UK, it was revealed at the weekend that the government is planning a
new crackdown to strengthen official secrecy laws to prevent whistleblowers
from revealing information about government policy. Officials with access to
sensitive information will no longer be able to claim they act in the public
interest by exposing wrongdoing or unlawful acts by the government.

The government has been embarrassed by a spate of leaks revealing concerns
about the legality of the US-led invasion of Iraq, including concerns
allegedly expressed by Tony Blair about American tactics and revelations to
media of a classified memo containing comments President Bush made about
bombing broadcaster al-Jazeera. The government has prohibited other media
from reporting on the memo.

And in Denmark Michael Bjerre and Jesper Larsen of the daily newspaper
Berlingske Tidende, a Danish daily, face two years in prison at their trial
later this year in an unprecedented trial because they reported in 2004 that
before joining the Iraq invasion, the Danish government was told by military
intelligence there was no firm evidence of banned weapons in Iraq.

They are charged with “publishing information illegally obtained by a third
party” under the Criminal Code. The Danish whistleblower, a former
intelligence officer, was convicted and jailed for four months last year.

These actions, coupled with the news that journalists in the Netherlands
have had had their communications tapped by security services and that in
Germany spies were planted in media to stop leaks to the press, are raising
concerns that there is a concerted effort across the Western world to try to
stifle voices of dissent within government and to prevent journalists from
exposing wrongdoing.

“When governments bully their journalists, censor the media and persecute
whistleblowers, they seriously damage the watchdog role of journalism,” said
White. “In turbulent times we need more informed, professional and accurate
reporting about the work of government, not gags and intimidation.”

The IFJ believes that the credibility of western governments as
torch-bearers for democracy and press freedom is being seriously undermined
by these latest actions.

“The United States and Europe need to lead by example,” said White. “The
enemies of press freedom and open government are the only winners when
journalists are put under pressure in this way.” -30-
For further information contact the IFJ: +32 2 235 2200, http://www.ifj.org
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries.
[return to index ] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Eight others receive sentences for rigging elections and accepting bribes

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, July 4, 2006

KYIV – A district court in Mukacheve, Zakarpattia region, sentenced a former
deputy governor of the Zakarpattia region to five years in jail, with one
year suspended, on June 30 for falsifying the results of the Mukacheve
mayoral elections for that took place on April 18, 2004. The press service
of the Prosecutor-General’s Office announced this to Ukrainian News.

‘The sentence is the logical result of the investigation that the
Prosecutor-General’s Office of Ukraine conducted into the criminal case that
was launched in connection with the events of April 18, 2004, connected with
the election of the mayor of Mukacheve,’ the press service said. The press
service did not name the former deputy governor.

According to the press service, courts have also sentenced eight heads of
polling-station electoral commissions to various jail terms for rigging
elections and accepting bribes.

Meanwhile, the Prosecutor-General’s Office says it is completing its
investigations against the people accused of organizing and ordering these

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the Mukacheve mayoral elections took
place on April 18, 2004. According to the results of an exit poll conducted
on the voting day by the Democratic Initiatives fund, the Socis center, the
Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, the Razumkov center of economic
and political studies, and the Committee of Voters, Viktor Baloha won 62.4%
of the votes while Ernest Nuser won 29.99%.

On April 19, the electoral commission’s Chairman Yurii Peresta announced
that the Zakarpattia regional council’s deputy head Ernest Nuser won the
Mukacheve mayoral elections and awarded him the winner’s certificate.

The Our Ukraine coalition of political parties said that the elections were
falsified. The Social Democratic Party (united) said that no violations were
committed in the course of the Mukacheve mayoral elections.

A Mukacheve district court reinstated Vasyl Petiovka as the mayor of
Mukacheve on December 23, 2004, and declared the results of the April 18
mayoral elections invalid. -30-

[ return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Joseph Stalin would have greatly appreciated your piece on Cold War II

Addressed to Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar, Norway
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #724, Article 20
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, July 5, 2006

RE: Article entitled: COLD WAR II
OPINION: Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar, SCOOP Independent News
Wellington & Zuckland, New Zealand, Friday, 30 June 2006
Published in Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #721, Article 19
Washington, D.C., Sunday, July 2, 2006

Sir, I believe Joseph Stalin would have greatly appreciated your piece
on Cold War II. He used to call the authors like you “helpful idiots”.

Sometimes he was absolutely right. Mr Putin and FSB would probably
also enjoy your “analysis” (and spare some money from their PR-fund).

The reference to the staunch Sovietophile Guardian is especially
impressive. Gleb Pavlovsky as an authority might be next.

Fortunately, there some wise people in the West – not necessarily
“neocons”. You may find their responses to the guardians and
suchlikes below. I have little to add.

With best wishes, Mykola Riabchuk, a journalist

E-mail contact: ryabchuk@iatp.kiev.ua
[ return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

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