January 13, 2014
I was and remain an ardent supporter of the eurointegration course of Ukraine’s development. Therefore, the decision about postponing the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU aroused not my best feelings. Though, having calmed down a little, I realized that President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych couldn’t do anything else. Not because the Agreement was bad. No. Everything is banal and more simple. It is obvious that in case of signing of the Agreement Yanukovych would face the maximum possible economic pressure from Russia. The considerable part of enterprises of the East and South of Ukraine, whose meaninful part of export is focused on Russia, would have very unpleasant consequences. Many of them would be compelled to stop their activity for indefinite time.
A massive promotional campaign against Viktor Yanukovych would be also launched on the side of Russian electronic mass media which are completely dependent on the power.
Besides, by means of its satellites in Ukraine Russia would start breaking off his electoral base in the East and South of Ukraine.
Besides, we should pay attention to the IMF requirements concerning the necessity of conduction of reforms involving the increase of tariffs for communal services.
The complex of all these factors would inevitably lead to essential electoral losses of Yanukovych among his nuclear electorate. Simultaneously, he would hardly manage to receive votes of pro-European voters anyways. He was and continues to be a stranger for them.
It seems like exactly such completely realistic picture was drawn by Vladimir Putin to the Ukrainian president. And in case of defeat at the elections he wouldn’t be able to hide in Russia from probable criminal prosecutions any more under such circumstances, he added.
Instead, Putin offered another alternative – the reduction of gas prices and financial assistance to Ukraine which gives a chance to stabilize the Ukrainian economy. And this is without any demands about the internal, not completely popular economic reforms. Besides, most likely, Viktor Yanukovych received a promise to get the maximum versatile support at the following presidential elections.
And now, let’s think what would politicians of other countries do under similar circumstances? I think, in 95 cases out of 100 they would do the same thing as Yanukovych, who can’t, at least now, imagine that in 2015 he won’t become the president of Ukraine again.
It seems like this sad, but completely obvious conclusion wasn’t figured out in advance by many Western European and Ukrainian politicians. It is rather possible that if it was done, the reaction upon Viktor Yanukovych’s decision would be a lot more calm.
Although, it is necessary to acknowlegde: nevertheless Ukraine has for sure got at least one positive moment from this decision of the Ukrainian president. It is possible to confidently declare that the rate of national currency will remain stable in 2014. There also won’t be massive shutdowns of activity of the considerable part of enterprises. And their workers won’t lose their jobs respectively.
However, I don’t share hopes of Ukrainian governmental officials for the active renewal of trade with Russia. Despite exorbitant energy costs in the world markets, Russia plunges into the economic depression. Under such circumstances it is hardly worth counting on the significant increase of demand for the Ukrainian goods on the side of Russian enterprises.
Author : Borys Kushniruk