Daily Archives: August 3, 2006

AUR#745 Aug 3 Viktor Yanukovych Makes Comeback As Prime Minister, Leaders Sign Unity Accord; Lost Opportunities; Non-Listening President; Energy Geopolicy

                  An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
                       In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

                        Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
           Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World    

    Candidate of the Party of Regions, the Socialist Party and the Communist Party   
          On July 7, the Party of Regions, the Socialist Party and the Communist
        Party coalition approved the candidacy of Viktor Yanukovych as a would-
            be prime minister for the President to introduce it at Verkhovna Rada.

           On July 11, the coalition proposal signed by Verkhovna Rada Speaker 
         Oleksandr Moroz was sent to the President. However, Viktor Yushchenko
                      called the document sent by the coalition non-legitimate.

          On July 18, the coalition submitted the candidacy of Viktor Yanukovych
                          for premiership to the president for the second time.
        On August 3, in the early morning, President Viktor Yushchenko announced
   he had agreed to support the nomination of Viktor Yanukovych for Prime Minister.
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor  
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               –——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
              Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
    Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
UT1, Kiev, in Ukrainian, Thursday, August 3, 2006
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, Aug 03, 2006
 Analyst says accord could become a document of intentions that leads nowhere
Natasha Lisova, AP Worldstream, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu, Aug 03, 2006

      Viktor F. Yanukovich, a strapping Moscow-backed politician, to be PM
By Andrew E. Kramer in Moscow, The New York Times
New York, New York, Thursday, August 3, 2006

By Christian Lowe, Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday August 3, 2006
By Anya Tsukanova, Agence France-Presse, Kiev, Ukraine, Wed Aug 2, 2006


                         Was humiliated in the 2004 “Orange Revolution”                    
 By Olena Horodetska, Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, August 3, 2006


Daryna Krasnolutska in Kiev, Bloomberg, New York, NY, Thu, Aug 3, 2006


                           VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH TAKES OVER
By Andrew Rettman, EUObserver.com, Brussels, Belgium, August 3, 2006

UT1, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1205 gmt 3 Aug 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, August 3, 2006 (12:05)

                              OF YANUKOVYCH AS BETRAYAL 
Ukrainian News on-line, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, August 3, 2006


Ukrainina News on-line, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, August 3, 2006
Ukrainian News on-line, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, August 3, 2006
                           DECLARATION OF NATIONAL UNITY
   Declaration is evidence of defeat of president & democratic parties & blocs
Ukrainian News on-line, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, August 3, 2006 (17:13)

15.                                  LOST OPPORTUNITIES
InfoUkes Ukrainian Internet, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Thu, Aug 3rd 2006

16.                         THE NON-LISTENING PRESIDENT
        Yushchenko should have implemented what he promised on the Maidan.
OP-ED: By Taras Kuzio, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Aug 03 2006

OP-ED: By Oksana Bashuk Hepburn in the Kyiv Post
Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, August 03 2006

18.                         ENERGY GEOPOLICY OF THE UKRAINE 
: By Todor Kondakov, Ph.D.
Secretary of the Bulgarian Geopolitical Society and
Editor-In-Chief of the Bulgarian magazine “GEOPOLITICS”.
Global Politician, Brooklyn, New York, August 1, 2006

             Europe should be concerned at Russia’s “unique monopoly” as a gas
               supplier, and Romania offers an ideal route for alternative pipelines.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Washington, D.C., Saturday, July 29, 2006
By: Felix Corley, The Independent 
London, United Kingdom, Thursday, Aug 03, 2006

UT1, Kiev, in Ukrainian, Thursday, August 3, 2006
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, Aug 03, 2006

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has supported the nomination of his
main rival, pro-Russian opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych, as prime
minister. Speaking to journalists, Yushchenko said he was aware that many in
Ukraine would be displeased at his decision, but it was necessary to unite
the country and ease tension.

The move follows lengthy negotiations between Yushchenko and the leaders

of major political parties, which are expected to culminate in the signing of a
national unity declaration.

The following is an excerpt from Yushchenko’s speech, broadcast live by
Ukrainian state-owned television UT1 on 3 August [Kyiv time]; subheadings
have been inserted editorially:

Esteemed journalists, first of all, I would like to thank you for your keen
interest in the political developments in Ukraine and for spending many
nights outside the presidential secretariat. This shows that you have a
genuine interest in the decisions and processes that the president and the
nation should make.

I would like to start by saying that I am confident that the democratic
progress that was felt during the 26 March 2006 parliamentary election
obliges all political forces and government institutions to stick to the
course of further democratization. It so happened that in the election about
8m Ukrainians liked one set of blocs and parties and a little over 8m voted
for another.

Ukraine faced a choice – whether to draw the border line, where it should be
drawn, along which bank of the River Dnieper. These challenges were not only
related to the choice made by Ukrainian citizens, these are the issues that
arise while forming the coalition and determining the state course.
                                UNITY IS PARAMOUNT
I would like to stress that most of my contribution to this discussion [were
proposals on] how to preserve Ukraine’s unity despite this situation, get
rid of the sins that were made during the election and which seriously
undermined the nation’s basics and the basics of statehood or simply sowed

My idea of the round table was to appeal to the Ukrainian public and make
political parties sit at the round table and, step-by-step, leave behind us
everything which, basically, divided the nation or gave an impulse to this
during the election two or three months ago. [Passage omitted: more on the
round table and challenges it was to answer]

The essence of my first fundamental statement today is that while we were
engaged in the discussion, the declaration’s ratification had started.

As of now, it has been signed by the Supreme Council [parliament] chairman
[Oleksandr Moroz], the Party of Regions leader [Viktor Yanukovych], the Our
Ukraine leader [presumably, Roman Bezsmertnyy, who heads the propresidential
bloc’s faction in parliament], the [acting] prime minister of Ukraine [Yuriy
Yekhanurov] and the president of Ukraine. I am sure that other partners will
sign this document by the morning.

This enables me to say that the issue that gave rise to so much discussion
among us over the past few days and, in essence, formed very contradictory
relations within various political forces, has been resolved. Tomorrow, we
will officially sign the declaration and I will be able to give a detailed
comment on home and foreign policy issues stated in the declaration.

I would like to say once again that the basics of the definition of
Ukraine’s home and foreign policy, of its continuity, have been completed. I
am convinced that in Ukraine’s political practice, at any rate among the
signatories, there will be no more of those discussions and
misinterpretations that there were a few weeks ago. I think this is an
important result of this night and of this day.

[Passage omitted: some parties reneged on previous agreements, after

which more talks were held on 2 August]

My task was to raise these issues for the last time with the parties
represented in parliament – to preserve the nation’s unity, to stop
discussions on the status of languages, to voice a clear opinion on the
church issue, to reach a definite conclusion on land [ownership] relations
and structural reform and to make a final decision on the basics of foreign
policy now. A consultation on this has resulted in the main political forces
that I have named approving the declaration’s main ideas.
Therefore, based on what I’ve said and the conclusions that have been
reached, I have made the decision to nominate Viktor Yanukovych as prime
minister of Ukraine.

By doing so, I would like to stress once again that I am conscious of all the
complexities that arise in both the east and west of Ukraine regarding the
election results and any prime minister.

I appeal to the nation to understand that now we probably have a unique
chance to accomplish what we spoke of during the Orange Revolution and what
we dream of every day – to bring about understanding between both banks of
the River Dnieper in political terms.

I know that there were several ways of emerging from this situation. Neither
of them would change the political consequences of the election. The result
of the political elections would stay approximately the same.

I would like to ask you, esteemed friends, to understand, when relating this
idea to the public, that the validity and fairness of the election that has
taken place has essentially confirmed that Ukraine’s choice is bi-polar.

Regardless of whether or not a repeat election would have been held, we’d
have had approximately the same result. Let us be brave and not hide away
from answers.

We need to decide how to form a united and unitary country, how to find
political arguments and demonstrate at least the beginnings of certain
political tolerance for the sake of this country, how to give the Ukrainian
parliament a chance to really learn the lessons of parliamentarism.

What has happened after the election has shown a lot of stories and episodes
that demonstrated how deep the problems are. We have seen not only certain
stories but also certain actions which are difficult to comment on.

However, we have a chance to start implementing the policy declared during
the Orange Revolution from a clean slate. Through tolerance, coexistence and
cohabitation, [we should] achieve political tolerance and speak of the goals
that unite, not divide, us.
                          “STEP TOWARDS PARLIAMENT”
Today, I am demonstrating yet another chance for a political unification of
this country. Today, I am making a step towards parliament.

I think that parliament will make good use of this chance for the sake of
Ukraine flourishing. We have a good chance to relieve the confrontation,
emerge from a political war and move towards political competition.

At the end of the day, probably the most important thing that I’ve said is
that this is the first time that we’ve found a formula for preserving and
protecting the constitutional values of the state and nation.

Therefore, I’d like to ask you to inform the Ukrainian public of the basis
on which the president made an independent decision on this issue. I know
that whatever decision the president makes, some people will either reject
it or a certain lack of understanding will be created. This applies to the
coalition’s format, people’s choice regarding their support for this or that
party and to many other things.

However, I think that now is the time for us to speak of values that can
unite Ukraine. This is the only reason for my decision. Probably for the
first time in the past 10 days, there were no discussions in this building
about distributing portfolios.

The discussion in this building focused on one thing – whether or not the
current political authorities are able to ensure the implementation of the
state’s constitutional values. [Passage omitted: more on this]

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Analyst says accord could become a document of intentions that leads nowhere

Natasha Lisova, AP Worldstream, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu, Aug 03, 2006

KIEV – President Viktor Yushchenko signed a memorandum of national unity on
Thursday with his former Orange Revolution foe, Viktor Yanukovych – a pact
the president hopes will secure his pro-Western, reformist policies when his
ex-foe becomes prime minister.

The accord had been Yushchenko’s condition for approving Yanukovych’s
candidacy, and a parliamentary vote -a mere formality _ was expected later
Thursday [now decided it will be Friday, AUR]

Yushchenko acknowledged that his decision to nominate the man he once
roundly denounced could cause misunderstanding and dismay, but he called it
a historic chance to mend the country’s deep divisions after months of
political paralysis.

“When we take steps toward each other, it is very important not to count who
is making one or two steps more, who is the winner and who is the loser,”
Yanukovych said before signing the accord.

The accord’s 27 points call for Ukraine to continue to seek European Union
membership, entry into the Word Trade Organization, and cooperation with
NATO; the new version also mentions that Ukraine should consider joining a
Russia-promoted economic trade zone, which also will include the ex-Soviet
republics of Kazakhstan and Belarus.

It acknowledges that Ukrainian is the state language, but drops the word
“only” in front of that designation _ an apparent bow to Yanukovych’s
Russian-speaking electorate.

Yushchenko’s decision to nominate Yanukovych followed four months of
wrangling after parliamentary elections gave no party a majority of seats.
The country fell into political paralysis as parties argued, maneuvered and
shifted alliances to form a majority coalition.

In the end, Yanukovych’s Party of Regions – which won the biggest chunk of
seats in the March parliament elections – formed a coalition with the
Socialists, who had defected from an earlier coalition that included
Yushchenko’s bloc, and the Communists.

The new coalition nominated Yanukovych to be premier, the post he had held
when he ran against Yushchenko.

Yushchenko announced that he would nominate Yanukovych at around 2 a.m.
Thursday (2300GMT Wednesday) _ two hours after the constitutional deadline
for him to make a decision had expired.

Yulia Tymoshenko, who would have become prime minister if the former

Orange coalition had not fallen apart, said the accord should be called “an act
of political capitulation by the Orange camp.”

During a roundtable in Yushchenko’s office televised live Thursday,
Tymoshenko blasted the agreement as a betrayal. Yushchenko, looking
frustrated, interrupted and criticized his one-time partner for “empty
politics” that were all words and no action.

It was expected that Yushchenko’s party would use the agreement as a
justification to join the coalition led by Yanukovych, and Yushchenko
praised it as a major achievement.

“It was not a simple path,” Yushchenko said. “A great progress was achieved.
… We found a correct, wise compromise.”

His bloc, however, has not yet given a firm answer about whether it plans to
join the new coalition, and some of the president’s lawmakers have said they
would not join a coalition government led by Yanukovych. Critics have also
noted that the accord is not legally binding.

“There is a risk that it could just become a document of intentions that
leads nowhere,” said Kiev-based political analyst Serhiy Taran.

The decision to name Yanukovych as premier marks a stunning comeback for the
man who left politics in disgrace after Ukraine’s Supreme Court threw out
his fraud-marred presidential win in 2004 and Yushchenko won the
court-ordered revote.

Yanukovych bounced back in the March election, adopting Western-style
campaign tactics as he spent countless months in get-out-the-vote rallies in
eastern and southern Ukraine.                             -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
      Viktor F. Yanukovich, a strapping Moscow-backed politician, to be PM

By Andrew E. Kramer in Moscow, The New York Times
New York, New York, Thursday, August 3, 2006

MOSCOW – President Viktor A. Yushchenko of Ukraine, the reformer who
rode a wave of popular protests to power in the Orange Revolution but lost
credibility this year when his party came in third in parliamentary
elections, was forced to nominate his former rival as prime minister early

The appointment, which is likely to be approved by Parliament, sets up an
unusual power-sharing government between the opponents in the
scandal-tainted election of a year and a half ago.

Viktor F. Yanukovich, a strapping Moscow-backed politician who ultimately
lost the 2004 elections, demanded the prime minister’s job after his party
won the most seats in parliamentary voting in March.

“I have taken the decision to put forward Viktor Yanukovich for the post of
Ukraine’s prime minister,” Mr. Yushchenko said in a statement broadcast on
Ukrainian television two hours after a midnight deadline for the nomination
had passed, Reuters reported.

The Orange Revolution, viewed through this zigzag twist in Ukraine’s recent
history, loses some of the heady idealism that impelled thousands to take to
the streets to protest Mr. Yanukovich’s victory in the rigged 2004 election.

The two men, at the time, seemed to embody a choice in Ukraine between the
centuries-old path of allegiance with Russia, or emergence as an
independent, pro-Western country.

Mr. Yushchenko said he had compelled his onetime nemesis to sign a policy
statement confirming commitment to some of those ideals, like closer
integration with Europe. The president had threatened to dissolve Parliament
and call new elections unless his former rival signed.

It was unclear what concessions, if any, Mr. Yanukovich had made toward a
key demand by Mr. Yushchenko: that Ukraine’s bid for membership in NATO
move forward.

Also unclear, under a constitutional reform introduced this year, was
whether Mr. Yushchenko could reject a coalition of parties in Parliament
that had nominated Mr. Yanukovich, a former convict from Ukraine’s
hardscrabble industrial eastern half.

Still, being forced to accept Mr. Yanukovich, a candidate openly supported
by Moscow, undermines Mr. Yushchenko’s efforts to guide Ukraine closer to
political and economic ties with Europe, rather than Russia.

Mr. Yushchenko has presided over four months of a stormy deadlock after the
March 26 parliamentary elections, where his Our Ukraine party won only 14
percent of the vote.

A fragile coalition between Mr. Yushchenko’s party and that of his former
prime minister, Yulia V. Tymoshenko, collapsed in July amid scuffles in
Parliament. Ultimately, lawmakers opposed to this combination physically
barricaded the podium to block a vote that could have brought the former
Orange Revolution partners to power.

Hope for this pro-Western coalition in Ukraine ended when a former supporter
of the orange group, the Socialist Party leader, Oleksandr O. Moroz,
switched sides and joined Mr. Yanukovich’s Party of Regions.

Mr. Moroz was rewarded by being elected speaker of Parliament. He also
attended talks late Wednesday before the announcement.

That change in allegiance left Mr. Yushchenko short of votes for any
candidate other than Mr. Yanukovich in the 450-member Rada.

The coalition he proposed Thursday will exclude the other leader of the
Orange Revolution, Ms. Tymoshenko, though her party came in second in
the March elections.

Mr. Yushchenko, who won the 2004 election after his face was disfigured in a
poisoning with an industrial pollutant during the campaign, saw his
popularity and power slip away amid infighting by the victors of that race.

Also, Mr. Yushchenko failed to negotiate cheap prices for natural gas from
Russia, after the state monopoly Gazprom briefly embargoed Ukraine’s energy
supply in January.

Higher prices struck hardest at the industrial belt in eastern and central
Ukraine, Mr. Yanukovich’s stronghold, deepening the political divide and

playing into the hands of his pro-Russian party.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

By Christian Lowe, Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday August 3, 2006

KIEV – The thousands of people who took to the streets of Ukraine’s capital
two years ago to bring about the “Orange Revolution” could be forgiven for
asking: “Why did we bother?”

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, faced down by an opposition majority
in parliament, on Thursday proposed the man he defeated in the 2004
revolution Viktor Yanukovich as prime minister.

Yanukovich is a pro-Moscow politician with close ties to big business and he
shares few of the Western-leaning and reforming ideals of the revolution. In
particular, he does not share Yushchenko’s enthusiasm for taking Ukraine
into NATO and the European Union.

Yushchenko said he had extracted written guarantees from his rival that as
prime minister he would not try to derail market reforms or integration with
Europe, though he gave no specifics.

Much will depend on whether the president manages to install his allies in
key posts in a Yanukovich government.

“It is so disappointing,” said Valentina, a hotel receptionist in Kiev. She
fought back tears after hearing Yanukovich was to be prime minister. “With
our own hands … we have handed power to the very man we fought against.”

The “Orange Revolution” quickly lost its lustre once its architects were in
power. Bitter infighting broke out between Yushchenko and his first prime
minister, Yulia Tymoshenko. Economic growth faltered, and people who hoped
for quick improvements in living standards grew disillusioned.

Months of indecision and bickering in the “Orange” camp after an
inconclusive March parliamentary election further discredited them in the
eyes of many voters.
                                       INDELIBLE MARK
But many observers say the revolution has left an indelible mark on Ukraine.

The media is vibrant and unafraid to criticise politicians. That is a marked
change from before 2004 when aides to former President Leonid Kuchma would
try to dictate to journalists how to report events.

Even Yanukovich has changed. A gruff politician who had little time for the
media, he has undergone coaching from Western consultants to make him more

And since the revolution Ukraine has conducted two national elections that
were bitterly fought, but largely clean. Previous voters were marred by
allegations of ballot-rigging.

“Voters have learnt that power and accountability come out of the ballot
box,” wrote Carlos Pascual, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine now with the
Brookings Institution think tank.

“In championing the ability of the people to challenge leaders through an
opposition movement, the Orange Revolution secured a future for political
opposition,” he said.

Underlining how far Ukraine had come, Yanukovich said on Wednesday the
events of 2004 “were of benefit to everyone.” He added: “People came out
onto the streets with a huge desire to change their lives for the better.”
(Additional reporting by Olena Horodetska)                   -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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By Anya Tsukanova, Agence France-Presse, Kiev, Ukraine, Wed Aug 2, 2006

KIEV – Viktor Yanukovych, the loser of the “orange revolution” presidential
contest in 2004, is Ukraine’s come-back kid. Written off by commentators
after the revolution, he finally won the prime ministerial nomination after
weeks of tortured negotiations.

Yanukovych refused to slide into obscurity after he conceded defeat in a
2004 presidential election to his arch-rival Viktor Yushchenko, who hundreds
of thousands of demonstrators had come out to support when the result at
first went Yanukovych’s way.

He eventually lost that election but was back again this March doggedly
leading his Regions party and rallying its many supporters in the east of
the country at parliamentary elections.

With its slogans against NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) and
promises to “restore” good relations with Russia, the party did not manage
an overall majority but was able to assemble a coalition with
fellow-travellers from the political Left.

The main base of support for the 56-year-old Yanukovych is in the country’s
industrialised, Russian-speaking east where he grew up without a mother — 
she died when he was two — built his political career and had brushes with
the law.

In that part of the country, which wants to retain centuries-old ties to
Moscow, Yanukovych with his rough-around-the-edges style is the antithesis
of the “orange” Yushchenko, who wants to lead Ukraine into the Western fold.

“He is taken as a political personification of Russian speakers in the
country, as someone who represents their interests,” one political analyst,
Volodymyr Fesenko, said after the parliamentary vote.

People in the region relate easily to the man who spent his childhood in
poverty and had a turbulent youth. He served two prison sentences, including
one for allegedly inflicting serious bodily harm during an armed robbery.

His criminal record was eventually cleared, but the rough edges remained.

The tall, solidly-built man has a habit of swearing and rumors abound of him
using his fists to get his point across — attributes that have enhanced his
image as a strong leader.

“All those stories of how Yanukovych used his mighty fist against lazy
politicians… it blends in well with the myth of a wilful, firm leader, a
myth that plays well with the Soviet psychology dominant in the southeastern
regions,” Fesenko said.

“He says things so openly, so directly, so truthfully. I just believe him,”
Galyna Likhoman, a 68-year-old pensioner, said earlier this year while
attending a Yanukovych rally in the southern port city of Odessa.

Yanukovych began his career as an electrician in the eastern industrial
power-house of Donetsk and rose through the ranks to become a factory boss
and then regional governor.

He was nominated as prime minister under president Leonid Kuchma in 2002

and was chosen by the veteran leader as his successor in the presidential
campaign in late 2004.

Yanukovych was initially handed victory in that contest, but amid mass
“orange” protests the supreme court threw out the ballot because of massive
fraud and ordered a re-run of the election, which Yushchenko won.

Abandoned by many allies, written off by the political elite, Yanukovych did
something no one expected — he began playing by his “orange” foes’ rules.

With help from American consultants he adopted tactics used by his “orange”
rivals in 2004. Deploying rock bands and plenty of blue-and-white
paraphernalia for his campaign, he criss-crossed the southeast shoring up
grass-roots support.

“He was campaigning in 2004 as the crowned king,” said a senior Western
diplomat in Kiev during his campaign. “He is campaigning now as a hungry

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                   Was humiliated in the 2004 “Orange Revolution”

By Olena Horodetska, Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, August 3, 2006

KIEV – Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovich, humiliated in the 2004 “Orange
Revolution,” was set to celebrate a political comeback as prime minister on
Thursday after his nemesis, President Viktor Yushchenko, supported him.

The pro-Western Yushchenko, architect of the revolution that overturned the
old order in Ukraine, reluctantly chose “co-habitation” with the
Moscow-leaning Yanukovich in the early hours of Thursday to end four months
of political deadlock.

His only other real alternative had been to dissolve parliament, prolong the
crisis and risk new elections that could have destroyed him politically.

Yushchenko said he had decided to propose Yanukovich as prime minister of a
coalition after extracting written guarantees that he would not try to
overturn market reforms and pro-Western policies.

There were no details on what concessions were made by Yanukovich, who
favours closer ties with Russia, traditional ally of the ex-Soviet country.

Parliament was expected to approve Yanukovich as prime minister later on
Thursday after his Regions party had signed a declaration of common
principles with Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine and other coalition parties. The
deal ended four months of political deadlock in which Ukraine has had only a
caretaker government.

Apart from what concessions had been wrung from Yanukovich, there were also
questions over what grass-roots reaction there could be against Yushchenko
from within his own ‘orange’ ranks at doing a deal with Yanukovich.

The charismatic and radical Yulia Tymoshenko, another big player in Ukraine
who has been sidelined under the deal, had yet to show her hand.

Her political bloc finished second in a March parliamentary election which
Yanukovich’s Regions party won easily. Though she could delay his
appointment by a few hours, she does not have enough votes in parliament to
block it.

After hours of talks deep into the night trying to hammer out a coalition
deal, Yushchenko said in a televised address: “I have decided to put forward
Viktor Yanukovich for the post of Ukraine’s prime minister.”

Yushchenko backed away from his other, high-risk option of dissolving
parliament and calling new elections, choosing instead a potentially awkward
“co-habitation” with Yanukovich.

Yanukovich was put forward as prime minister by a slim parliamentary
majority made up of his Regions party, the Socialists and Communists.

                            ECONOMIC PRAGMATIST
Yushchenko’s decision to propose Yanukovich as prime minister will cheer
markets, ending deadlock after the inconclusive parliamentary election in

It is a defeat though for supporters of the “Orange Revolution” — the 2004
protests that overturned Yanukovich’s presidential election victory and
swept Yushchenko to power.

Anticipating anger from many of his orange supporters, Yushchenko said in
his televised address: “I know that whatever decision I take, a part of our
society would not accept it.” He added: “I appeal to the nation to try to
understand that we have an unique chance to unite the country.”

As president, Yushchenko retains control over foreign policy, defense and
national security. But observers say he will now struggle to push through
his policies.

He had been pressing for his allies to be given key posts in a
Yanukovich-led cabinet to preserve his influence. No details of who will be
in the government have so far emerged.

Yanukovich, from Russian-speaking east Ukraine, is less keen than

Yushchenko on the country’s push for NATO and European Union
membership — key tenets of the “Orange revolution.”

On economic policy Yanukovich is seen as a pragmatist. He has said he will
lower taxes for business, including the big industrial exporters that drive
Ukraine’s economy. Powerful business “oligarchs” are among his supporters.

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

Daryna Krasnolutska in Kiev, Bloomberg, New York, NY, Thu, Aug 3, 2006

KIEV – Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko agreed to form a
government with the man he ousted almost two years ago in the Orange

Yushchenko will nominate Regions of Ukraine party leader Viktor Yanukovych
for the post of prime minister. The parliament will vote on his candidacy
and cabinet in Kiev at 4 p.m. today, parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Moroz
said in remarks broadcast by TV Channel 5.

“My decision is absolutely necessary for the nation’s development,”
Yushchenko, 52, told a press conference. “I have made a step toward
parliament and I am convinced that it will use it in a proper way to bring
prosperity to the country.”

The agreement may end four months of political stalemate in which the main
political groupings have jostled for power.

Yushchenko, whose party came third in the March 26 elections, failed to
rebuild the coalition that emerged from the revolution and turned to
Yanukovych, 56, to keep some cabinet posts and preserve foreign policy
goals, including joining the World Trade Organization.

The extra yield, or spread, investors demand to hold Ukraine’s 4.95 percent
euro-denominated bond rather than similar maturity European benchmark debt,
narrowed 20 basis points, to 2.12 percentage points at 10:18 a.m. in London.
`Be Relieved’

“Markets will be relieved that Ukraine is set to get a government, ending
the political uncertainty for the time being, and there is also a prospect
of an improvement in the relationship with Russia,” Bear Stearns
International Ltd. Managing Director Tim Ash said in an e-mailed comment.

Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine party will team up with Yanukovych’s party and the
socialists, according to the “Unity” document signed by the leaders. Talks
were continuing today about whether any other parties will be in the final
coalition to be voted on in parliament.

A force led by former premier Yulia Timoshenko, which finished second in the
elections, is likely to remain in opposition as Timoshenko has said she
won’t work with Yanukovych.

Yanukovych’s Regions of Ukraine party, which favors closer ties with Russia
and the introduction of Russian as the second official language and opposes
membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, had agreed to form a
coalition with the communists and socialists on July 11 after the standoff
left the country without a government.
                                       EARLY ELECTIONS 
The coalition, which nominated Yanukovych for the post of prime minister,
had to form a government by July 25. Yushchenko had threatened to call early
elections to resolve the stalemate.

Yushchenko beat Yanukovych in a re-run of the disputed presidential election
that sparked the Orange Revolution of November 2004 on promises to raise
standards of living and bring the country to closer to the membership in the
European Union, NATO, and the WTO.

The first coalition government formed with Timoshenko collapsed in September
last year when Yushchenko fired the 45- year-old premier, saying she had
done little to end corruption.

Yushchenko, whose popularity fell as citizens said he had failed to
implement his ideas, announced on July 8 that he wouldn’t allow Yanukovych
to become premier unless he agrees with the president’s domestic and foreign
policies. “Now, we have the unique chance to fulfill all my promises I gave
during the presidential elections,” Yushchenko said.
                                      ‘RIGHT THING’
“Yushchenko has definitely done the right thing for the country and for the
economy,” said Kirill Dmitriev, who manages $500 million at Moscow-based
Delta Private Equity Partners, in an e-mailed note today. “Just bringing
stability. . .could increase foreign investment in Ukraine by more than 10
times in the next three years.”

Ukraine’s economy expanded 5 percent in the first half of the year, compared
with 4.1 percent in the same period a year ago.
While relations with Russia may improve if Yanukovych takes office, a
conflict over natural gas pricing may return with colder weather, Bear
Stearns’ Ash said.

Russia’s state-controlled OAO Gazprom cut natural-gas supplies to Ukraine in
January, forcing Ukraine to pay almost twice as much for gas as it paid
2005. Ukraine agreed Jan. 4 to pay an average $95 per 1,000 cubic meters of
gas in the first half of 2006, up from $50 last year. Gazprom was demanding
Ukraine pay $230 per 1,000 cubic meters.

“Moscow will continue the drive to market pricing for energy over the
medium-term,” Ash said.                            -30-
Contact: Daryna Krasnolutska in Kiev at  dkrasnolutsk@bloomberg.net

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                         VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH TAKES OVER

By Andrew Rettman, EUObserver.com, Brussels, Belgium, August 3, 2006

BRUSSELS – Ukraine president Viktor Yushchenko has nominated his pro-
Russian arch-rival Viktor Yanukovych as prime minister, in a move that could
cause problems for the country’s pro-EU and NATO orientation in the coming

“A pact is to be signed that will determine the main lines of Ukraine’s
domestic and foreign policy, in which the western course is guaranteed,” Mr
Yushchenko said while announcing his decision at 02:00 local time on
Thursday 3 August, the BBC reports.

Ukraine’s parliament – the Verkhovna Rada – will vote on the appointment
later today with a new cabinet likely to be named before the weekend,
comprising members from Mr Yanukovych and Mr Yushchenko’s political parties.

The appointment marks a historic reversal for the Orange Revolution movement
that took power in November 2004 after Mr Yanukovych won presidential
elections amid widespread accusations of vote-rigging.

Mr Yanukovych – whose supporters carry blue flags and have camped out in
front of parliament for the past few weeks – is popular in the
Russian-speaking southeast of the country and won “free and fair”
parliamentary elections on 26 March.

Ukrainian diplomats in Brussels have given reassurances that Ukraine will
stay on the path of EU integration no matter who becomes prime minister
during the coalition-forming wranglings of the past four months.

But some analysts – such as the Georgian ambassador to the EU Salome
Samadashvili – believe Brussels should be worried by the advent of
Yanukovych, who built his campaign around anti-NATO sentiment with anti-EU

“If the government changes, the Ukrainian embassy [in Brussels] could soon
begin receiving different instructions,” Ms Samadashvili said two weeks ago.

Polish president Lech Kaczynski remained optimistic however, reacting to the
events by saying “Ukrainian democracy is relatively young and the situation
is complicated…in our opinion, Ukraine’s pro-western course won’t alter.”

The Yanukovych deal could improve Kiev’s relations with Moscow at a time
when the country’s Russian gas price arrangements remain up in the air, with
the financial markets reacting calmly to the news.

The move leaves Orange Revolution heroine Yulia Tymoshenko – who had

called for parliament to be dissolved and for a fresh round of elections – out in
the cold. (http://euobserver.com/9/22205)                 -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
UT1, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1205 gmt 3 Aug 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, August 3, 2006 (12:05)
KIEV – The leaders of major political parties have signed a declaration
of national unity. The ceremony was broadcast live by state-run UT1
TV and by a number of private channels on 3 August.

Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko singed the document with
reservations, saying he signed not all of the declaration, but parts of it.

The declaration was then signed by Socialist Party faction leader Vasyl
Tsushko, Party of Regions leader and prime minister-designate Viktor
Yanukovych, Our Ukraine faction leader Roman Bezsmertnyy, acting

Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov, parliament speaker Oleksandr Moroz
and President Viktor Yushchenko.

Orange Revolution figure and a fierce opponent of Yanukovych, Yuliya
Tymoshenko, refused to sign the accord.

Yushchenko is now addressing the meeting with closing remarks. -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


Ukrainian News on-line, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, August 3, 2006

KYIV – The Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko says that President Viktor Yuschenko’s
submission of the candidature of Regions Party leader Viktor Yanukovych to
the post of premier for Rada’s approval is betrayal. Deputy head of the BYT
faction in the parliament Oleksandr Turchynov told this to journalists. ‘We
consider the president’s submission of Yanukovych as betrayal,’ Turchynov
He said that the BYT remains in consistent opposition to the current events
in the Verkhovna Rada and forces that are posing threats to national
interests and have betrayed Ukraine.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Yuschenko proposed the Verkhovna

Rada to appoint Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych as premier.

Earlier, Tymoshenko said that submission of the candidature of Regions Party
leader Viktor Yanukovych or nomination of any other nominee from the
so-called anti-crisis PR-SPU-CPU coalition for the post of prime minister
would be disastrous for President Viktor Yuschenko.    -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Ukrainian News on-line, Kyiv, Ukraine, August 3, 2006
KYIV – The Socialist Party of Ukraine claims the ministerial portfolios of the
Transport and Communications Ministry, the Education Ministry, and the
portfolio of the head of the State Property Fund in the next Cabinet of
Ministers. SPU faction leader Vasyl Tsushko announced this to the press.

He said the number of portfolios for each of the coalition’s faction would
depend on the number of votes gained at the parliamentary elections.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the Verkhovna Rada plans to elect the
premier at its evening meeting on Thursday, August 3.

Tsushko predicts that the formation of the Cabinet of Ministers will take
place on Friday, if the premier is elected on Thursday.         -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
 If you are receiving more than one copy of the AUR please contact us.
Ukrainian News on-line, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, August 3, 2006
KYIV – Party of Regions faction leader Viktor Yanukovych and Our Ukraine
faction leader Roman Bezsmertnyi have signed a memo on the creation of a
coalition. Our Ukraine faction deputy head Roman Zvarych announced this to
the press.

“The leaders of the two factions, the faction of the Party of Regions and
the faction of the Our Ukraine bloc, have signed already this document,”
Zvarych said. He said the signing took place at the presidential
secretariat. He said leaders of other factions were expected to sign the
memo too. He didn’t specified which factions might sign the document.

According to Zvarych, the coalition concerns a new coalition to be entitled
‘National Unity Coalition,’ which will be based on the National Unity
Declaration. The National Unity Declaration was initialed in the early hours
of August 3 and is likely to be signed on Thursday.

Zvarych said President Viktor Yuschenko had submitted his nomination of
Viktor Yanukovych for premier to the Verkhovna Rada. There is an agreement
with the leadership of the parliament, he said, that the issue of appointing
Yanukovych premier will be raised at the evening meeting of the Rada to
start at 16:00.

Earlier, Party of Regions MP Taras Chornovil told the press he expected the
Socialist Party and the Communist Party to join the coalition.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Verkhovna Rada Chairman Oleksandr Moroz
announced a meeting of representatives of the parliament factions to discuss
the transformation of the coalition.

The anti-crisis coalition comprising the Party of Regions, the Socialist
Party of Ukraine, and the Communist Party of Ukraine took duties on July 11.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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Ukrainian News on-line, Kyiv, Ukraine, August 3, 2006

KYIV – President Viktor Yuschenko and U.S. Ambassador William Taylor

have discussed political situation in Ukraine. This has been disclosed in the
presidential press service report, text of which Ukrainian News has.

Viktor Yuschenko reported his ideas on solving Verkhovna Rada crisis. He
said that the main achievement of the Declaration of National Unity is
strengthening of the domestic and foreign policy and reforms.

They also discussed Ukrainian-American relations and voiced their
willingness to develop trade and economic cooperation. Yuschenko told the
ambassador that the U.S., Russia, and the EU are main strategic partners for
Ukraine. They also discussed the situation on the Middle East.     -30-

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

                       DECLARATION OF NATIONAL UNITY
    Declaration is evidence of defeat of president & democratic parties & blocs

Ukrainian News on-line, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, August 3, 2006 (17:13)

KYIV – The Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko (BYT) has refused to sign the
Declaration of National Unity. BYT leader Yulia Tymoshenko made this

‘Betrayal is becoming an infection in Ukrainian politics and we did not find
out yet how it spreads. The disease does not affect women. Betrayal will not
affect our political force,’ she said.

Tymoshenko announced her moving into opposition and invited other

deputies to join the inter-factional opposition union.
‘We request all factions and deputies without exceptions. We will be
building inter-factional opposition and invite everyone to join in,’ she

Tymoshenko criticized the ambiguity of much disputable points of the final
text of the Declaration and their inclination toward the Party of Regions.

‘I congratulate the Party of Regions on signing this document on conditions
of the Party of Regions,’ she remarked.

This concerns the points about Ukrainian language status, membership of the
Common Economic Area, referendum on NATO entry, creation of a unified
Ukrainian church, Tymoshenko said.

Only the clause about promotion of healthy life style remained from the
initial text of the Declaration drafted by the Our Ukraine Bloc and
President Viktor Yuschenko, she added.

The new document was supplemented by the clause on inadmissibility of
corruption in politics, which testifies to the fact that this kind of
corruption really exists, Tymoshenko noted.

She went on saying that it was not accidental that the final version of the
document was not presented to public figures, who were present during the
first round of roundtable talks and were invited to put their signatures.

Tymoshenko described the Declaration as the evidence of defeat of the
president and democratic parties and blocs.

‘Our political force will not call this document a declaration, but an act
of capitulation of the orange camp. You have to honestly admit things hiding
behind some sort of curtseys,’ she commented. As Ukrainian News earlier
reported, from the very beginning BYT had declared its resistance to signing
the Declaration.                                       -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
15.                        LOST OPPORTUNITIES

InfoUkes Ukrainian Internet, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Thu, Aug 3rd 2006

The Orange Revolution was a Lost Opportunity to break the backs
of the Donetsk Mafia and throw off the Yolk of Russia for once
and for all.

Where did it all go wrong?

I personally think it started to go wrong on the Maidan.

Yushchenko was a reluctant figure on the Maidan. At times it
seemed the currents of the populist swell swept him along. I got
the distinct impression that he was stunned by the size of the
crowds on the Maidan.

Tymoshenko on the other hand seemed to thrive on it, and took full
advantage of it. She also understood the power of it. Moroz at the
time did not wear anything orange — no orange ribbons, no orange
scarves — somehow we missed that. Did it somehow foreshadow
events to come?

Yushchenko was not sure of himself, and was willing to accept the
constitutional changes of the way government works imposed on him
by Kuchma and others in December 2004.

He should have stuck to his guns, as it is never smart to change the
rules of the game in the middle of a rapidly changing environment.
I think he lacked the internal fortitude to resist those changes imposed
on him and/or did not understand the power he had with the people
on the Maidan.

The next lost opportunity was when he gained power. He should
have pursued a very aggressive campaign in the following areas:

[1] There was a need to chop off the top 3-4 layers of the
bureaucracy, as that is where the big corruption is. One needs to
purge the Soviet-era elements that will fight the implementation
of Yushchenko’s policies in a subversive manner — Pierre Trudeau
did that in Canada in the 1970’s and the bureaucracy changed in
its tone ever since.
The Polish blocked any former Communist party members to become
involved in the bureaucracy and EU infrastructure without full disclosure
of involvement with the past Communist regimes.

They recently followed up with requirements of loyalty to the Polish
state. One of the Baltic countries purged their entire bureaucracy
and made them re-apply for jobs with a mandatory language test.
The Baltic States & Poland are now members of both the EU &

[2] He should have pursued all those involved in the Election
Fraud of 2004 in an open & transparent manner, thus making it
absolutely clear that this was an unacceptable behavior. Those
who are found guilty should pay a heavy price.

[3] Accelerated NATO & EU integration — which he seemed to do

at first and then with the change in PM’s seemed to go on

[4] The mistake of terminating Tymoshenko as Prime Minister —
Yushchenko should have embraced her energy and run with it as it
appears she is the one loyal ally he has, but for whatever reason
he despises/fears her. I don’t understand that reluctance to
embrace her as an ally. I suspect the Ukrainian populace also
does not understand that reluctance.

[5] Start a nationwide anti-corruption campaign to make it clear
this is an unacceptable behavior of a civilized country.

[6] Evict the Russian military from Crimea and other places in
Ukraine. It seems everybody else breaks International agreements
these days. Crimea has been a base of operations of Russia’s
interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine. This was quite
evident by Russian protestors (not Ukrainians) against a NATO
exercise in Crimea. Even worse Yushchenko buckled by canceling
the exercise.

[7] Maintain Government control of the energy sector and
infrastructure — till at least Ukraine is totally independent of
any influence from Moscow.

[8] Clean up the regional governments especially those in Eastern
Ukraine — thus eliminate that odor of Stalinist repression &
control that is so prevalent in the areas controlled by the
Oligarchs of the Regions Party.

[9] There is a need to create an ethics/accountability law to
govern the behavior of MPs and members of Government and thus
hold them accountable. It appears that every MP has become a
millionaire during their tenure in the Verkhovna Rada. There
are allegations of vote buying.

[10] Yushchenko failed to act in an open manner to get to the
bottom of the matter of the murder of reporter Georgiy Gongadze
and to the matter of the attempt to assassinate Yushchenko during
the 2004 Presidential Election.

Another lost opportunity was that there was a lot of good will
from the populous during and following the Orange Revolution.

Somehow Yushchenko did not maintain that connection with the
people that helped propel him to power. That was a mistake. It
would have helped Nasha Ukraina in the last parliamentary
elections; instead they got third party standing.

The next lost opportunity was the Energy Crisis. Yushchenko
should have rallied Ukraine against Moscow and used it as a focal
point to take action — thus eliminate the Russian military bases
from Ukrainian soil, and seek out allies in Europe (During this
time Russia was demonizing Ukraine for “stealing gas” — where was
the Ukrainian Government during this demonization? Why did they
not put across the Ukrainian position and the potential threat of
a Russia willing to use energy as a coercive tool in its political

The G8 would have been an excellent forum to promote
Ukraine’s vulnerable predicament but somehow the President
strangely kept a low profile. In the end the G8 may have become
Ukraine’s MUNICH. Even worse, this whole dirty game of creating a
company that controlled the pipelines with hidden/dubious
ownership just solidified the perception that nothing has changed
in Ukraine, thus the status quo was maintained.

The next lost opportunity was the results of the March election
campaign — Russia was in there in full force banking the Regions
Party — which then used American campaign techniques and
American PR firms.

For whatever reason Yushchenko was handed a golden opportunity
to create a government extremely quickly between NU, BYuT & SPU,
yet dropped the ball. I never understood the constant dancing/game
playing around the alliance instead of a quick but intense negotiation
that should not have taken longer than a week.

This could have been over in early April thus positioning Ukraine
to be proactive in preparation of the G8 meeting. Of course we never
will really know if Moroz was a sleeper waiting for the most opportune
moment to create the most collateral damage. Ukraine needed a pro-
Western government in place before the G8 so at least any Western
ally could stand up for Ukraine.

The last lost opportunity was to pull the plug and call a new set
of elections. Yushchenko guaranteed the impression that he is a
waffler, Ukraine’s version of Mr. Dithers (reference to Canada’s
former Prime Minister Paul Martin’s inability to take a stand or
make a decision). Nasha Ukraina & BYuT were in negotiations over
creating a single Block/Party to run in the impending election.

That in itself was a major step forward to creating a single
democratic force, and yet Yushchenko crushed that with the single
stroke of a pen behind closed doors by allying himself with an
alleged criminal, Yanukovych and the Regions Party.

Yushchenko has let the fox into the hen house. Contrary to Yushchenko’s
statements about the two Ukraines, BYuT was the only Block to
have strong showing in the March 2006 elections right across the
country — people seem to forget that simple but relevant fact.

Both Nasha Ukraina & the Regions Party are regional parties,
while BYuT was the true only national block/party. Yushchenko
destroyed the opportunity to unify all the pro-democratic forces
under one banner for the first time since Independence.

Yuschenko I am afraid will be relegated to history as a bumbler
who dropped the golden egg, not once but multiple times.

Lets see what Yushchenko does from now till 2009. Can he redeem
himself? I do not know. Can he prove us wrong in that he did have
a master plan, and that he is implementing that with the skill of
a very capable chess master? I think not, but I am ready to be
proved wrong.

My two cents.
Yaroslav Kokodyniak
Yaroslav Kokodyniak is one of the founders and maintainers of the
InfoUkes Ukrainian Internet resource based in Toronto, Canada.
Contact: yaroslav@infoukes.com, http://www.infoukes.com/
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
16.                   THE NON-LISTENING PRESIDENT
       Yushchenko should have implemented what he promised on the Maidan.

OP-ED: By Taras Kuzio, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Aug 03 2006

One of the most surprising aspects of the Viktor Yushchenko administration
has been its unwillingness, or disinterest, in public relations and public
opinion, whether in Ukraine or abroad.

The Yushchenko administration and Our Ukraine ignored public opinion in
Ukraine among Orange Revolution supporters, and that of the USA and the West
in general, which called for a revived Orange coalition following the March
elections. A coalition was only put together on the eve of the June deadline
but it immediately collapsed and led to the current political crisis.

In ignoring domestic and foreign public opinion and advice, the Yushchenko
administration has boxed itself into a corner. The two choices facing
President Yushchenko are both unpalatable; proposing Viktor Yanukovych as
Prime Minister or dissolving parliament and holding new elections.

The first would be to make Yushchenko a lame duck president and the second
would make Our Ukraine a lame duck political force.

The Orange Revolution did not have to develop this way if the president and
Our Ukraine had upheld one of the central ideals of the Maidan. When
Ukrainians went on to the streets in the Orange Revolution they sought to
change their relationship with their rulers.

The post-Soviet relationship  had continued the Soviet approach of the ‘new
class’ living in a different world to its ‘subjects’. The Orange Revolution
was a call for the ruling elites to treat its ‘subjects’ as citizens; that
is, to move this relationship from Eurasian to European norms. Remember the
Orange Revolution anthem ‘We are not bydlo (scum)! We are the sons and
daughters of Ukraine!’.

A central component was to be that the ruling elites would listen and act in
line with public opinion. But Yushchenko has failed to become a listening

Orange Revolution supporters were never told why the ‘bandits’ (commonly
understood as former President Leonid Kuchma and his senior officials) never
met any justice and are in parliament today heading key committees?

When the newly free media asked awkward questions, such as why  Roman
Zvarych could be Justice Minister without legal training and after
falsifying his CV or questions regarding the president’s son, they were told
to stop asking them or were condemned.

President Yushchenko never explained  why he had to remove the Yulia
Tymoshenko government, after saying three weeks earlier that it was the
‘best government in Europe’. Similarly, Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov
never explained why the bad oligarchs had suddenly become ‘good national

Every poll that followed the March elections showed that an overwhelming
majority of Orange Revolution voters in Our Ukraine, the Yulia Tymoshenko
bloc and the Socialists wanted to see a revived Orange coalition.

Yet, Our Ukraine and President Yushchenko took credit for holding Ukraine’s
first free election while, on the other hand, ignored the fact that Our
Ukraine had come third.

Ukrainians also flocked to the Orange Revolution because they believed that
Yushchenko, and other Orange leaders, were different. The September 2005
crisis, drawn out coalition negotiations following the 2006 elections and
the July crisis have proven to many Ukrainians that this Maidan assumption
was wrong.

Our Ukraine and Socialist politicians have not proved they are different to
those under Leonid Kuchma. Only the Tymoshenko bloc has stuck to its
stance of refusing to talk with Yanukovych.

If Our Ukraine had come first in the Orange camp in the 2006 elections, as
they expected, there would have been an Orange coalition established in
April, with Yekhanurov as premier.

The only reason for the drawn out talks, and ignoring of Orange opinion, was
President Yushchenko’s and Our Ukraine’s dislike for Tymoshenko, who had
a right to claim the post as her bloc had come first in the Orange camp.

Instead of listening to Orange voters, Our Ukraine (presumably with the
president’s knowledge) negotiated simultaneously with its Orange partners
and the Party of Regions. This dual-track duplicity, coupled with the drawn
out talks, only served to reinforce the view that the Orange camp was
hopelessly divided.

In the foreign arena, the Yushchenko administration has also ignored public
opinion and public relations. This is surprising as during the 2004
elections the Yushchenko camp had by far the best public relations exercise
in the West.

The ‘pro-Western’ President Yushchenko and Our Ukraine ignored US and
NATO advice following the March elections, which linked a revived Orange
coalition to a NATO Membership Action Plan and NATO membership (without
supporting any particular candidate for Prime Minister).

The only conclusion one can make is that personal animosity towards
Tymoshenko became a more important policy than listening to Ukraine’s best
Western friends. And this animosity became more important than  NATO
membership, which now seems more illusory with the anti-crisis coalition.

Since the election of Yushchenko his administration has largely ignored the
formation of Western opinion. No PR firms have been hired in the West by his
administration or Our Ukraine.

The only explanation is the arrogance that power brings coupled with a
misplaced view that there was no need to shape Western opinion because it
was  pro-Orange anyway. This has led to numerous public relations mistakes
when President Yushchenko and his chief of staff, Oleh Rybachuk, have
appeared in Western television interviews.

Presidential secretariat staffers explained to this author how they had
briefed  Mr. Rybachuk for his BBC Hardtalk interview. This advice and
briefing was subsequently ignored, leading to what everybody acknowledges
was a lost opportunity and PR disaster. Compare this with Mr.Yanukovych.

During the 2004 elections his government hired a Washington, DC public
affairs company but its advice was largely ignored and Mr. Yanukovych relied
upon Russian political technologists.

During the 2006 elections, he hired a new American public relations firm
that has been to some degree been successful in re-shaping his image, and
that of his top lieutenants.

It is ironic that the Party of Regions is the only political party using US
public relations advisers, while President Yushchenko/Our Ukraine and the
Tymoshenko bloc have ignored this issue.

The return of Yanukovych as prime minister would be proof of Yushchenko’s
failure to implement the core values of the Orange Revolution in becoming a
listening president. He should have implemented what he promised on the
Maidan.                                           -30-
Dr. Taras Kuzio is a Senior Fellow at the German Marshal Fund of the USA.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and should not
be attributed to the German Marshal Fund of the USA. Taras Kuzio is also an
Adjunct Professor, Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies,
George Washington University.
AUR NOTE: Contact e-mail: tkuzio@gwu.edu.
LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/oped/24880/

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

OP-ED: By Oksana Bashuk Hepburn in the Kyiv Post
Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, August 03 2006

Not since the possible intervention of Russian tanks to stop Ukrainians from
electing their man during the cold days of December 2004, has Ukraine needed
good pro-West advisors as much as it has recently. Kyiv is teeming with
advisors from Russia and the West. Russia’s deserve their high per diems.

Their protégés from the Party of Regions may well form the new cabinet.
Those offering advice to President Victor Yushchenko – at least those
belonging to the so-called pro-West category – should be fired.

The president’s actions have been so bad, they defy understanding.

To begin with, he created a political vacuum, one of the greatest hazards in
politics. Yulia Tymoshenko understood the danger and set out to cobble
together an Orange coalition as soon as her Bloc won the most seats among
the three Orange parties in the March 26 2006 parliamentary elections.

Instead of support, the president’s Our Ukraine Party gave her grief. The
on-again off-again talks prolonged the vacuum for three months. It allowed
the fraud of Victor Yanukovych and his pro-Russian oligarchic Party of
Regions to almost snatch victory from the Orange forces.

The political vacuum was an opportunity for Western friends to provide
advice on how to move forward. Pressuring the President to do the right
thing and give Ms. Tymoshenko the prime minister’s job again would have
consolidated power and provided Ukraine with a reform-minded, pro-Western
government. Of immediate concern, it might have safeguarded Ukraine’s energy
sector from Russia.

There is little evidence that such mentoring took place. Last March, before
the parliamentary election, I was assured by highly placed Western advisors
that the best thing for Ukraine would be a three-way coalition: Our
Ukraine’s president would be the national figurehead; the prime minister’s job

would go to Ms. Tymoshenko, or the Party of Regions; and the remaining one
would become the parliamentary speaker.

I was troubled by this scenario. What about punishment for the rigging
during the 2004 presidential election? What about the vast differences in
policies? What about the focus on Russia on the part of the Regions? Who
would form the opposition?

None of this seemed to matter. Having helped to topple Communism in Ukraine
in 1991; having prevented the fraudulent Victor Yanukovych from stealing the
presidency, some western advisors were ready to reverse these achievements.

As it turned out, no such reversal was needed. The Orange forces, buoyed by
Ms. Tymoshenko’s significant victory, had the necessary numbers in
parliament. They did not need to compromise with the Regions. So why did
the President compromise by failing to act in a timely manner and create a
political vacuum?

A nasty joke is doing the rounds in Ukraine. The president, boxer Volodymyr
Klitschko, football star Andriy Shevchenko are pushing strollers in the
park; discussing the future for their baby sons.

“Take a look at his jaw and big fists,” Klitschko says, “he has the makings
of a good boxer.”

Shevchenko’s baby is kicking up a storm with his legs. “Undoubtedly, my son
will become a world class soccer player.” “What future awaits your son,”
they ask. Mr. Yushchenko? The president bends over, sticks his head into the
stroller and replies “He’s soiled his pants and he’s quiet now.”

History will not remember bad advisors. It may be unforgiving to the
president for forfeiting an Orange government and taking Ukraine to the next
level of democratic maturity. His popularity is less than 10 percent at
present. Many reasons are offered.

However, it is becoming clearer day by the day that Ms. Tymoshenko was
frozen out to accommodate Russia’s control of Ukraine’s energy sector.
Ordinary people are horrified that the possible ceding of control of the
Ukrainian gas transport system, to Russia, is being contemplated.

Had Ms. Tymoshenko been the prime minister of the Ukrainian government,
many believe this would not have happened. She would have fought against
the possibility of further Russian control over Ukraine’s energy assets and
argued the danger of such concentration to the West.

It is hard to understand why the West, the United States in particular,
would allow the political situation in Ukraine to deteriorate this far at a
time when Russia’s energy dominance is causing global concern and when
its political tone is turning bellicose. It is inconceivable that America
and others fell asleep in Ukraine. Yet it happened. And, this is not the first

Recall, how the West, following the lead of the United States, agreed to
centralize the nuclear capability of the former USSR – shared between
Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan – in Russia’s hands. Also, how Ukraine’s
interest in joining NATO some ten years ago were scuttled to accommodate
Russia’s objections. Bad decisions then and an another bad one now.

Allowing Russia to gain control of the USSR’s decentralized energy sector
through the purchase of Ukraine’s pipeline would give Russia an energy
advantage not just in Ukraine, but globally. Like nuclear power and NATO
membership, energy is a political weapon. As Ukrainians says – with such
friends and advisors, who needs enemies?

Ms. Tymoshenko appears to understand the importance of timely political
moves and the danger of political vacuums. She understands the value of
keeping energy control out of Russia’s hands. She understands power.

At the time when she still could have been prime minister, she clearly
articulated that she would not share power with the Party of Regions. The
latter would need to become the opposition to the government, she argued.

At that point in the talks held by the parties to the Orange coalition, it
would have helped enormously if knowledgeable Western friends and advisors
had offered a basic lesson on good democratic governance: opposition to the
government in power ensures its service to the people rather than to itself.
Such enlightenment might have made a difference.

Instead, in the president’s quarters, there was much muddying of political
waters with talk of power sharing and heading-up ministries and committees
between the Orange forces and the Party of Regions. This talk continues.

After her right to lead the government was trumped by Socialist Party leader
Oleksander Moroz as much as by the political vacuum that had transpired, Ms.
Tymoshenko demonstrated once again her sound knowledge of the workings of

Unlike the president’s Our Ukraine members, she did not opt to plead to the
Party of Regions for leftover posts. She recognized that such a move would
neutralize the bloc’s political effectiveness. Instead, she declared her
intention to go into opposition.

This move should serve her well. If she follows the western parliamentary
model she will empower her team by creating a shadow cabinet, critically
follow the government’s policy, respond with better options, and be visible
in the mass media as the alternative to the government. All of this will be
ready by the time Ukraine goes to the polls again.

Ukraine is learning political lessons the hard way, perhaps it’s the only
way. Nonetheless, bad calls by politicians and advisors need to be accounted
for and given the developments of the least three months, heads should roll.

This too, is part of learning how democracy works.          -30-
Oksana Bashuk Hepburn is a consultant who travels regularly on business
to Ukraine. She is authoring a book about her experiences.
LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/oped/24879/
AUR NOTE:  Oksana Bashuk Hepburn lives in Canada and can be
contacted at oksanabh@sympatico.ca.
[return to index] Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Todor Kondakov, Ph.D.
Secretary of the Bulgarian Geopolitical Society and
Editor-In-Chief of the Bulgarian magazine “GEOPOLITICS”.
Global Politician, Brooklyn, New York, August 1, 2006

It is a well-known fact that the present authorities in the Ukraine consider
the energy independency of the country from Russia for the topmost national
priority. Over 90% of the deliveries of Russian natural gas for Europe go
via this country and Belarus.

But if Russian energy companies can reach agreements with Belarus, which is
considered as a solid ally of Moscow’s, the Ukraine has become a real
nightmare for Kremlin after the victory of the “orange revolution”.

Furthermore, this does not concern the mere transit of energy raw materials
for Europe – a much greater challenge is posed by the possibility that this
country adopts the role of a military-strategic base of the US, which is the
aim of the persistent efforts of its current leaders and which poses a
serious problem for Russian security.

If we look objectively, the Ukraine has the ideal geographic location as it
is a convenient corridor for the transportation of oil and natural gas from
the Caspian region to Western markets. The most appropriate facility in this
respect is the pipeline Odessa – Brody, which was completed in 2001 and can
be extended to the Polish city of Plotsk and further to the Baltic port of

The implementation of this plan, though, has met the resistance on the part
of Russia, which firmly insists on its right to utilize the pipeline in the
reverse direction – in other words, for the transit of Russian oil to the
South and further via the Black Sea to world markets.

Moreover, Moscow is trying to get the Ukraine involved into the customs and
economic alliance of the so-called Common Economic Space (embracing Russia,
Belarus and Kazakhstan).

The Ukrainian politicians, who came into power after the “orange
revolution”, were predisposed to sever the links with Russia for a number of
reasons. On the other hand, though, Russia is strongly concerned about the
existence of numerous negative tendencies in the current Ukrainian policy.

These are Kiev’s attempts at joining the NATO, the ongoing discussions on
the destiny of the Black sea fleet and the border dispute on Azovian Sea,
which was intentionally pushed to a dead-end by the Ukrainians.

The declining living standards in the Ukraine are only one of the
consequences from the “orange revolution” and the aggravated relations with
Russia. Another and even greater challenge was the energy crisis, which
culminated in the “gas scandal” between the two countries, which in its turn
was concluded in January 2006.

It is hardly surprising that Kiev is actively searching for alternatives to
the Russian energy resources, which are of crucial importance for overcoming
the forthcoming economic collapse.

Further to that, President Yushchenko and his circle, who continuously
underline their adherence to democratic values, are ready to cooperate with
any “authoritative” regime from the Post-Soviet space as long as gas and oil
problems of the Ukraine are thereby solved.

Thus, the visits of the Ukrainian leader in the spring of 2005 in
Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan were dictated by his intention to establish with
these countries a new energy alliance, excluding Russia (this would be a gas
alliance with Turkmenistan and an oil alliance with Kazakhstan,

Further to that, Yushchenko tried to reach agreement with Turkmeni
President, Saparmurat Niyazov (Turkmenbashi), on alternatives to Russian gas
in parallel with the preparations for talks on the establishment of a
Russian – Ukrainian – German consortium for the development of Ukrainian gas
transportation networks.

Although any cooperation between Kiev and the famous for his capriciousness
Turkmenbashi would undoubtedly be highly problematic and therefore Moscow

as a reliable commercial partner undoubtedly is the preferable option. Still,
the geopolitical (or rather, the ideological) imperative here – the drive
towards lesser dependency on Russia – prevailed over economic expediency.

It is quite a different matter that Yushchenko failed to convince the
Turkmeni President in the advantages of his project and Ashgabat refused to
yield as regards the prices of its natural gas. Niyazov himself preferred
not to sever the links with Moscow for a good reason instead of concluding
new contracts with Kiev.

In October 2005 he welcomed in Ashgabat the Ukrainian Minister of Energy and
the General Manager of Naftogas of Ukraine (NOU) and directly told them that
he would not tolerate the breach of any already concluded agreements on the
delivery of goods and equipment against covering the clearing debt for
delivered natural gas.

“Each time you promise that you will pay your debt in six months but in
practice you do nothing”, stated the President, underlining the fact that
out of USD 484 million, which is the total amount of the debt, only 8.7
million have been covered through the delivered goods from the Ukraine.

He voiced his complaints to the management of the Ukrainian energy complex
for deferring the implementation of investment projects, funded at the
expense of Turkmeni gas deliveries. Thus, in actual fact there is no
progress as regards the construction of the railway bridge over Amudarya.

Turkmeni leader specifically underlined the fact that long-term gas
cooperation with the Ukraine should be developed, taking into account the
interests of the third partner – i.e. Russia – and appealed to the
Ukrainians to observe the already concluded agreements.

An extremely unpleasant surprise for NOU was the aspiration of Russian
Gazprom to break free from its Ukrainian dependency as regards the
deliveries of natural gas for Europe. It is a well-known fact that Moscow
has already signed the first contract for gas deliveries through the future
North European gas pipeline, which will bypass the Ukraine.

Searching for an alternative source of the much needed for Ukrainian economy
“black gold”, Kiev set great hopes on Kazakhstan.

The latter has significant potential for boosting up its exports; is
interested in the diversification of its economic relations and what is most
important can guarantee stable deliveries. Taking this fact into account,
the Ukraine intends to reduce the volumes of Russian oil it procures at the
expense of partial reorientation to Kazakh oil.

One of the possible ways of achieving this is through handing over to
Kazakhstan of Odessa oil refinery. It is true that currently this refinery
is owned by the Russian giant Lukoil, but taking account of the
avalanche-like re-privatization process in “post-revolutionary” Ukraine, we
are not to exclude the possibility for the refinery to change its owner –
from Russian to Kazakh.

Kiev relies upon “neutralizing” Russia and convincing it together with
Kazakhstan to agree to the establishment of a sort of palliative to the
Common Economic Space (CES) – the so-called “free trade zone”.

The benefits from this project for the Ukraine are obvious: having in mind
its strategy for EU integration, the country will not have to conform with
the supranational bodies the Common Economic Space.

Further to that, the Ukraine will be in the position to make high profits
from transit to the East and mostly to Russia of an uncontrollable amount of
Western goods. Kiev has some very particular strategic ambitions as well:
the Ukrainians for example intend to make use of cosmic infrastructure at

Thus, Viktor Yushchenko already announced in Astana that he will offer to
Russia and Kazakhstan that the complex for launching of Zenith rockets,
which were hitherto launched from the floating platform “Odyssey” in the
Pacific Ocean, be transferred to Baikonur.

Having in mind the fact that Zenith rockets are a conversion of war rockets,
developed by Ukrainian military concern SDB (State Design Bureau “Yuzhnoe”)
and produced in Dnipropetrovsk, then Kiev obviously has some substantial
trumps at hand.

Nevertheless, Astana did not react posititively to Viktor Yushchenko’s
proposals. Furthermore, the Ukrainian leader, who constantly claims that the
integration of the country into European and Euro-Atlantic structures is his
main priority, had to negotiate in Astana with his Kazakh counterpart, who
is known for being the foremost and staunchest ideologist of the “Eurasian

It is not surprising after all that Nazarbaev advised Yushchenko to try
solving any issues within the CES in the future, which in itself meant that
Kazakhstan refuses to develop relations with the Ukraine at Moscow’s

Nazarbaev also mentioned that all issues, related to the transportation of
oil for the Ukraine, should be coordinated with Russia in advance,
underlining the fact that the largest Eurasian country cannot by bypassed
anyway – o matter how much the Ukrainian President may wish this – neither
literally (i.e. geographically), nor metaphorically (i.e. politically and

As regards the reaction of the Kazakh leader to the Ukrainian project for
the establishment of a “free trade zone”, it was biting and particular and
demonstrated even at his meeting with Byelorussian President Lukashenko in
May 2005, when Nazarbaev state that if the Ukraine is not satisfied with the
“foursome” format of the CES, then it can easily become “threesome”.

In actual fact, the greatest problem of the Ukrainians is that the
procurement of Kazakh oil would be economically justified by them only if
its price is less than the price of Russian oil. It is said that during
initial talks with Astana, Kazakhstan agreed to sell its energy raw
materials at a price, which is a little below the Russian one – USD 305 –
310 per ton.

Still, this does not solve the problem with oil transportation. In 2005 and
2006 the oil transportation charges by rail increased. Even if Astana agrees
to get these deliveries started, some other serious problems will arise.

[1] First, Ukrainian oil refineries will have to be fully re-equipped as
they are currently adapted for the processing of Russian oil, the
characteristics of which differ from those of Kazakh oil.

[2] Second, the refineries in Lisichansk and Kremchug, which should process
Kazakh oil, are owned by Russian investors. The latter would hardly be much
enthusiastic about the prospects for processing “foreign” oil.

Meanwhile, Kazakhstan has already raised the questions (although only
theoretically) about its potential involvement in the operation of Odessa –
Brody oil pipeline. The problem was discussed during Ukrainian – Kazakh
talks on plans for establishment of a consortium with the participation of
Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Georgia.

This consortium should undertake the functions of transportation operator
for Caspian oil (Kazakh, Azeri, Turkmeni) through Baku – Supsa oil pipeline
and from there – to Odessa.

The Chairman of the Managing Board of NOU does not exclude the option
for averse (i.e. direct) operation of the pipeline by end-2006 (as I
mentioned above, this pipeline has been operation for almost five years in

reverse direction, i.e to the South in the direction of the Black Sea).

Generally speaking, the extension of Odessa – Brody oil pipeline in the
north direction brings forth some serious rivalry on geopolitical basis.

Thus, recently the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
(EBRD) stated that it could fund the construction of the last section of the
pipeline in the north direction – to the Polish port of Gdansk.

This statement brought about the severe reaction of Moscow as it takes to
pieces the scheme, imposed by Russian oil giants – namely, the operation of
the oil pipeline in reverse direction.

The Ukraine and some EU member-countries undertake intensive actions for the
implementation of the Odessa – Brody – Plotsk project, accompanied with open
criticism of its current operation in reverse (south) direction. The project
in question envisages the transportation mainly of Caspian oil, thus
bypassing Russia.

Certain circles in Brussels also support the implementation of the project,
trying to coordinate the actions of the countries involved. Thus, the Czech
Republic and Slovakia, which until recently were quite skeptic about any
transit and processing of light Caspian oil mostly because of the need for
large investments and lack of guarantees for utilization of the pipeline’s
full capacity.

According to the President of the Ukrainian branch of the Russian oil
concern “TNK – VR Ukraine”, Alexander Gorodetsky, the project for extension
of Odessa – Brody oil pipeline to the Polish city of Plotsk has a clear
political coloring at the expense of the insufficient economic

He declares that : “Recently, we have been hearing a number of statements by
high-level officials, and yet none from those who own the oil, i.e. the oil
companies. Neither British Petroleum, nor Chevron has demonstrated any
interest in the implementation of this project.

Apart from that, trends in the development of world oil market show that oil
consumption in Europe will hardly increase especially in the near future and
the expensive Caspian oil, delivered through the Odessa – Brody – Plotsk
pipeline, is absolutely unnecessary for European oil refineries. Today the
latter’s needs are fully covered by the much more secure deliveries from
Russia (Druzhba pipeline), the Near East, North Sea and Norway”.

According to an analysis of the Polish state-owned oil company “Nafta
Polska”, the project for extension of Odessa – Brody pipeline to Plotsk will
become economically expedient only when it has a daily capacity of at least
20 million tons of petrol. At the same time, the latest geological studies
in the Caspian region show that oil reserves there are less than initially

Further to that, suppliers of Caspian oil, upon whom the Ukraine and Poland
rely so much, have utterly different interests – they are mostly oriented to
the markets of America, India and China, which guarantee maximum profits.
Demand there is enormous and prices – much more attractive.

Therefore, Caspian oil will be transported to these markets through Baku –
Ceyhan pipeline, the Caspian pipeline consortium (CPC) and the new pipeline
from Kazakhstan to China. Given such market environment, obviously it would
be impossible to guarantee the additional transit of tens of millions tons
of oil, necessary for the economic justification of the implementation of
Odessa – Brody – Plotsk route.

In the present situation, when the volumes of Azeri oil is more than
insufficient for the implementation of Odessa – Brody – Plotsk scheme,
Kazakh oil is considered in the already elaborated business plan as the only
actual resource. Still, the prospects for implementation of this plan look
highly improbable.

The main part of Kazakh oil resources will be directed to China through
Atasu – Alashankou pipeline, which is expected to have annual transit
capacity of 10 million tons of petrol, while at a later stage this capacity
will increase to 20 million tons with the flows of Russian crude oil from
Western Siberia, coming through Omsk – Pavlodar – Shimkent pipeline.

Furthermore, Kazakh oil will most probably be used for the enhancement of
CPC capacity to 67 million tons and will feed the future Bourgas –
Alexandroupolis pipeline.

Astana considers Baku – Tbilisi – Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline as one of the
possible routes for the transit of Kazakh oil (attractive as regards the
enhancement of export potential), the designed capacity of which is 50
million tons per year. The US are particularly active in lobbying for the
inclusion of Kazakhstan into the BTC because without Kazakh oil the pipeline
could prove cost-ineffective.

An evaluation of experts from the Georgian company “Naftatransa”, hitherto
Astana would be able (in the best scenario) to guarantee the annual shipment
in Baku by sea of only 5 – 8 million tons which is highly insufficient for
the utilization of the full capacity of Baku – Tbilisi – Ceyhan pipeline,
let alone Odessa – Brody – Plotsk pipeline.

The consortium, established specifically for the implementation of Odessa –
Brody – Plotsk project, is not in the position yet to present precise data
on the benefits and profits from the project, under the excuse of the
difficult identification of its true competitiveness.

This is the reason why the necessary forecasts for the return-on-investment
terms have not been prepared, which additionally hinders the attraction of
investments. At the same time, some tentative calculations are being made on
the basis of the assumption that the pipeline will carry 25 million tons of
oil per year although the existing and designed oil stations can provide not
more than 16 million tons per year.

Thus, Warsaw and Kiev, openly using political arguments, are trying to solve
their own problems (guaranteeing additional financial means for themselves
from oil transit and enhancement of their own positions in the eyes of
Brussels “Eurocrats”) at the expense of the other EU member-countries.

The truth nevertheless is that not having concluded any guaranteed
agreements with the oil suppliers, these two countries and the EU take the
risk of being left with an “empty” pipeline, costing more than USD 500

Meanwhile, in March 2005 Russia signed an agreement with Kazakhstan for
launching the construction of the new extension of CPC pipeline – from
Tengiz to Novorosiisk. This will allow a growth of 28 to 67 million tons of
year of the transited oil through this pipeline.

In result, the energy dependency of Europe and Turkey from Russia not only
did not decrease (as Istanbul hoped during OSSE session in 1999, when the
documents for the restriction of Russian maneuvers in post-Soviet space were
signed) but it rather grew.

Further to that, as the capacity of Turkish gas market is limited, the
Trans-Caspian gas pipeline to Turkmenistan is becoming cost-ineffective,
i.e. its construction brings no economic benefits.

In its desperate search for alternative (non-Russian) energy sources, Kiev
sought contacts even with Tehran (although the latter has been branded by
Washington as a part of the “axis of evil”) to negotiate on the construction
of a transit gas pipeline from Iran to Western Europe, bypassing Russia.

In July 2005 even a Memorandum of understanding was signed between the
Ukrainian NOU, Iranian Government and Gaz de France, and a month later
started the preliminary talks on the project.

Undoubtedly, Iran is interested not only in the development of its own gas
industry but also from acquiring Kiev (which is regarded with some
benevolence in Europe) as its energy partner. Of course, the accomplishment
of any positive result from Iranian – Ukrainian project in the near future
seems highly problematic.

Still, the Ukraine considers that cooperation with Iran in the energy sphere
will bring additional revenues from gas transit and will, at the same time,
enable it break free from Russian natural gas dependency.

This task has become even more topical after the unsuccessful for Kiev talks
with Moscow in August 2005 and the subsequent gas scandal at end-2005 and
beginning of 2006 between Gazprom and NOU.

As is well-known, in January 2006 Russia and the Ukraine reached agreement
on natural gas prices, in result of which Kiev has already been paying
double the price (i.e, USD 95 per 1000 cubic meters) to the mediator company

Of course, this agreement would hardly put a stop to the Ukrainian – Russian
gas dispute. Furthermore, the stability of shipments depend upon the
unpredictable Turkmeni leader Saparmurat Niyazov, who hastened to make use
of the heavy Russian – Ukrainian clash and raised the price of Turkmeni
energy raw materials.

Apart from that, after the meeting between Niyazov and high Russian and
Ukrainian officials in the beginning of 2006, his country became a full
member of all Russian – Ukrainian gas agreements and contracts, related to
the conditions for export and transit of natural gas via the territory of
the Ukraine.

After all, Turkmenbashi, who is well aware of the serious dependency of
Moscow and Kiev on Turkmeni gas, achieved a situation in which neither
Russia, nor the Ukraine received from him any long-term price guarantees.

As regards the tricky partnership between Kiev and Tehran, hitherto it
should be regarded mostly in the light of Ukrainian attempts at exercising
pressure over Moscow.

The West is concerned, though, that the implementation of Ukrainian –
Iranian project would increase energy dependency of Europe on Iran, which
in itself would erode opposition against the nuclear plans of the
ayatollahs, thus weakening the motivation for their prevention.

This project could give life to a new and probably significant funding
source for the strategic nuclear program of Tehran, speeding up the
construction of Iranian ballistic missiles with a large radius of action.

On the other hand, Iran does not have a solid economic basis, at least not
before it attracts the interests of sufficiently influential circles and
companies in the West as was the case with Baku – Tbilisi – Ceyhan oil
pipeline, where the geopolitical factor has obviously proven more important
than the economic one.

The above-said confirms the new geopolitical role of the Ukraine as an
American-European ally, who is assigned with significant auxiliary functions
in the establishment of numerous alternative alliances (GUAM; the
Organization for democratic development; Community of democratic choice)

and in the launching of projects, aiming at the restriction of Russian regional
influence.                                              -30-
Todor Kondakov, Ph.D. is secretary of the Bulgarian Geopolitical Society and
editor-in-chief of the Bulgarian magazine “GEOPOLITICS”.
LINK: http://globalpolitician.com/articledes.asp?ID=2001&cid=4&sid=40
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
           Europe should be concerned at Russia’s “unique monopoly” as a gas
             supplier, and Romania offers an ideal route for alternative pipelines.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Washington, D.C., Saturday, July 29, 2006

WASHINGTON – Romanian President Traian Basescu wound up a three-day

visit to Washington on July 28 at a forum where he presented his country as an
ideal conduit to bring Caspian oil and gas to the West. The aim, he said, was
to keep Europe from being beholden solely to Russia’s state-owned energy
monopoly, Gazprom.

Basescu reminded his audience, at a forum about Caspian oil sponsored by the
Jamestown Foundation, a private Washington think tank, that Europe now
imports much of its gas from Russia’s state-owned monopoly Gazprom.

He urged “democratic countries” to find alternative sources of energy
because of the “increased risk” posed by the “unique monopoly” enjoyed by
Gazprom in Europe and as a means of “diminishing the political impact of
using a single company…to supply Europe.”

Basescu described two pipeline proposals as alternatives to energy from
Russia. [1] One, measuring 1,300 kilometers, would move Caspian crude oil

from Constanta, on Romania’s Black Sea coast, to Trieste in northeastern Italy.
He said this project is supported by both the United States and Europe.

[2] The second, the details of which have yet to be worked out, would be a

2,800 kilometer pipeline, requiring an investment of about $4.8 billion. Basescu
said Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Austria have already agreed to
allow such a pipeline to run through their territory.
                        THE U.S. ‘MANTRA’ IS DIVERSITY 
Also appearing at the forum was Lana Ekimoff, the director of Russian and
Eurasian affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy. She agreed with Basescu
that European countries that were once part of the Soviet sphere of
influence are the most vulnerable to unexpected interruptions of their
energy supplies.

Ekimoff did not mention problems that Ukraine and Georgia faced last winter
when their sources of gas were threatened or severed entirely. Rather than
potential political differences between Russia and its energy customers, she
emphasized future demand.

“Countries in Europe that were formerly part of the Soviet bloc are much
more dependent on Russia than others. But the reality is that as demand
grows, there is the potential for greater dependency,” she said.

“Russia provides about one-third of Europe’s gas demand, and Europe’s

demand is expected to grow about more than 30 percent by 2020. Romania is
fortunate, as [President Basescu] mentioned, in that it has some oil and gas
resources. However, as its own demand grows and its resources are depleted,
it will have to import more.”

Ekimoff highlighted the broad investment in Caspian oil by private Western
companies, particularly U.S. energy corporations. And she pointed to four
areas where U.S. companies have invested in the region’s energy — one in
Azerbaijan and three in Kazakhstan.

But the U.S. Energy Department official stressed that the U.S. government is
not interested only in the natural resources of the Caspian, and that it
opposes energy monopolies of all sorts.

“The U.S. mantra domestically and internationally is energy diversity both
of suppliers and sources. Competition among sources is essential to energy
security, and is a core part of our bilateral discussions.”

“We are not just interested in their oil and gas contributions to global
markets, but also share a common goal of building an energy sector in their
countries that is diversified, cost-effective, and secure to support their
growing economies,” she said. “The U.S. mantra domestically and
internationally is energy diversity both of suppliers and sources.
Competition among sources is essential to energy security, and is a core
part of our bilateral discussions.”

While Basescu and Ekimoff spoke of alternatives to energy delivered by
Russia and an avoidance of monopolies, perhaps the real point of the meeting
was to make sure that Caspian energy delivered to the West circumvents
Russia altogether. That is, at least, the view of Vladimir Socor, a senior
fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, which sponsored the event.

In an interview with RFE/RL before the meeting, Socor said Russia’s Western
energy customers have to worry about more than just accidental interruptions
of service.

“The key to the project [outlined by Basescu] is the concept of bypassing
Russia,” Socor said. “There can be no energy-supply security for the
Euro-Atlantic community if an inordinate share of its supplies come from
Russia or via Russia from third countries. This is why Georgia’s location is
of key interest to the Euro-Atlantic community and Georgia’s independence
and security as a nation state is a major interest of the United States and
Western Europe.”

Socor said the West’s overdependence on Russia for so much of its gas would
be, in his words, “fraught with enormous political risk.”
(RFE/RL’s Romania and Moldova Service contributed to this report.)

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

By: Felix Corley, The Independent 
London, United Kingdom, Thursday, Aug 03, 2006

The diminutive but feisty lawyer Dina Kaminskaya defied the KGB to defend
a string of high-profile dissidents, determined to seek justice despite the
odds stacked against them in the Soviet courts.

In the end, she and her husband, Kon-stantin Simis, a fellow lawyer, were
forced to emigrate from the Soviet Union in November 1977 after repeated KGB
interrogations that would otherwise have led to certain imprisonment. They
settled in the United States, where their son, Dimitri Simes, was already

Like many future dissidents, Kaminskaya was radicalised by the prosecution
of two writers, Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel, in December 1965 – the
first time in the post-Stalin era that anyone had been prosecuted for works
of literature they had written.

Daniel engaged Kaminskaya as his lawyer, but the state prevented her from
speaking on his behalf in court, knowing that she would call for his
acquittal. The Soviet version of justice did not foresee defence lawyers
calling for acquittals – especially in political cases.

Kaminskaya went on to defend – as far as the Soviet authorities would let
her in a legal system designed as an instrument of Soviet power – Vladimir
Bukovsky in 1967.

She also defended Yuri Galanskov (who would die in a Soviet labour camp),
Anatoli Marchenko (who would also die in camp), Larisa Bogoraz and Pavel
Litvinov, and the Crimean Tatar activist Mustafa Jemilev.

Countless other political victims of the regime benefited from free legal
advice (she would not even take the officially prescribed fee).

By now the KGB’s irritation with the dissident movement had turned to
determination to crush it. Kaminskaya was prevented from defending
Bukovsky in his 1971 trial and Sergei Kovalyov in 1975.

In 1977, after being stripped of her licence to practise as a lawyer, she
was barred from defending Anatoli Shcharansky (now the Israeli politician
Natan Sharansky).

Kaminskaya was born into a Jewish family in Yekaterinoslav (later to be
renamed Dnepropetrovsk) amid the turmoil of a Ukraine then seeking
independence before being crushed by Bolshevik forces.

She grew up in Moscow, where her father was director of the USSR
Industrial Bank. Despite not being from a Communist family, she entered
Moscow Legal Institute but decided not to become a state prosecutor.

She later explained her decision to take the lower-status job of defence

I am grateful that, young as I was, some sixth sense prompted me to choose
the profession that answers to a fundamental need in my nature, the job that
has enabled me to defend so many people against the arbitrary and often
cruel power of the Soviet state.

After graduation she entered the Moscow city college of advocates. Her
defence speeches were even quoted in the Soviet press.

The KGB finally pounced on Kaminskaya and her husband at a Moscow railway
station in November 1976. Searches of their Moscow flat and their country
dacha had turned up a manuscript of a book Simis was preparing about
corruption in the Soviet Union (which the Soviets insisted could not exist).

Prosecutors threatened both husband and wife with criminal charges of
anti-Soviet slander, which could have led to three-year labour camp

Once in exile in the Washington area, Kaminskaya and Simis produced the
books they had been unable to at home. Kaminskaya’s book “Final Judgment:
my life as a Soviet defense attorney,” was published in English in 1982.

Kaminskaya kept up her commentaries on legal issues on Radio Free Europe and
Voice of America, broadcast back to her homeland. She even explained to
Russian-speaking listeners the background to the acquittal on murder charges
in 1995 of O.J. Simpson.

While Kaminskaya felt affinity for the embattled dissidents and their
quixotic battle against the might of the Soviet state, she was as determined
in seeking justice for many unknown victims of the system.

In 1967, she agreed to represent a 16-year-old boy named Sasha, who had been
charged with a friend with the rape and murder of their classmate Marina in
a village outside Moscow. The boys had confessed to the crime, but later
retracted their confessions.

Convinced that the two boys were innocent and that the prosecutor had
fabricated evidence, Kaminskaya and a colleague visited the scene of the

They discovered that the boys could not have attacked the girl where
the investigator said they did and that the prosecutor’s star witness – an
old woman who claimed to have heard the girl’s cries for help – was deaf
and nearly blind.

After three years and three trials reaching as far as the Russian Supreme
Court, Kaminskaya eventually had the satisfaction of seeing the boys
declared innocent.

Kaminskaya never regretted her choice of career. “Who, having lived through
all this, can say that the work of an advocate is painful and unrewarding?”
she wrote later. “Surely it is the happiest job in the world.”

Dina Isaakovna Kaminskaya, lawyer and human rights activist: born
Yekaterinoslav, Ukraine 13 January 1919′ married 1942 Konstantin Simis
(one son)’ died Falls Church, Virginia 7 July 2006.

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