Just as things were starting to look as if they may have been heading towards a solution, the latest news from Ukraine suggests the temperature is rising once more. Following the voting- down in parliament of a motion of no-confidence in the government of Viktor Yanukovich, AFP is reporting that a top aide to Yushchenko has announced the breaking off negotiations on the crisis, the resumption of a blockade of government premises in Kyiv and issued a demand that the parliament reconvene in emergency session overnight.
That session must have two questions on the agenda: the dismissal of the Yanukovich government along with Prosecutor General Hennadi Vassiliev, and the creation of a temporary “people’s government,” opposition spokesman Taras Spetskiv announced to protesters on a central Kiev square.
Javier Solana is on his was to Kyiv, as reportedly is Polish President Alexander Kwasniewski. Negotiations, in principle, were to have resumed tomorrow. Whether this latest development is simply a turn of the screw prior to tomorrow’s meeting, or whether it represents the opening of a new phase remains to be seen.
Certainly, as a lot commentators have been pointing out, many of the moves by Kuchma, Yanukovich and Co. could be interpreted as procrastination in the expectation that the opposition supporters get cold and tired, in which case Yushchenko is left with little alternative to becoming once more proactive, which is just what he seems to be doing.
Update: (Nick 2103 CET) One thing that may cool the temperature down slightly is this report on the Ukrainian Hotline site that states that Sunday’s proposed referendum on autonomy for Donetsk has been called off. The session of Parliament that was called for tonight has also been called off, though it will meet again tomorrow.