Happy End?

We mentioned on Tuesday that some analysts of Russian foreign policy had suggested President Putin’s harsh words about “veiled Western colonialism” were an imlicit concession that he would not get the “Ukraine-deal” with the West terms he had hoped for. Simlpy because there was nothing “the West” or any consituent parts thereof had to trade in this respect, even had they wanted to. It seems, those analysts were right: Reuters reports

“Former Cold War foes NATO and Russia on Thursday played down weeks of tension over rigged presidential poll results in Ukraine and issued a joint call for free and fair elections at the end of the month.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov repeated accusations of western meddling to deprive Yanukovich the office. But both Lavrov and NATO insisted there had been no confrontation and pointed to new cooperation pacts as a sign of good ties.”

And maybe, someone actually read my suggestion of an orange solution, even for Putin

“While many in the media have attempted to portray these events as a return to Cold War-era confrontation between East and West, I am confident that we can prove them wrong,” NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said.

Lavrov was equally insistent there was no row but reiterated Moscow was concerned that the ex-Soviet Republic not become an exclusive disciple of the West, whose borders have spread eastwards with the expansion of the European Union.

‘In geo-political terms Ukraine simply cannot be only western or only eastern. It is a European country which lies both on the borders of EU and NATO and on Russia’s borders,’ he said after he met his counterparts from the 26-member alliance, including Secretary of State Colin Powell.

‘I am pleased that we leave here today with a union of views with respect to what (happens in) Ukraine,’ he said.”

1 thought on “Happy End?

  1. A couple of interesting, and hopeful, details about the Ukrainian reforms at the Our Ukraine party press conference, via Orange Ukraine, which I had also missed. Though I think the article means approving the cabinet when it talks about “electing” it.

    Meanwhile, Nezavisimaya Gazeta has a long analysis of the parliament vote (in Russian). Apparently, according to the constitution, in order to be binding the constitutional reforms need to be approved by a constitutional majority at the next regular session. A staff lawyer of the parliament says that much can still happen to the constitutional reforms, including annulment by a constitutional court (e.g., in response to claims that parliament members weren’t given adequate opportunity to keep track of the evolving package.) However, it looks like the changes to the electoral law will stick. Both Yushchenko’s circle and Tymoshenko say they’re confident about getting a ruling parliamentary majority for the opposition.

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