23 October 2016

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Ukrainian interest. Rada's move, dialectics across the Atlantic, and another attempt in Donbas

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine deems the newly elected Russian State Duma as illegitimate. Petro Poroshenko used the platform of the UN General Assembly Session not only to convey his vision of the situation to the international community but also to hold bilateral meetings with leaders of various countries. A Trilateral contact group has made another attempt to put an end to the Donbas conflict.

Photo from UNIAN
Photo from UNIAN

In the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Ukraine's responses traditionally reflect the developments. It seems that the recognition of the Verkhovna Rada of the Russian State Duma elected on Sunday as illegitimate was a generally expected move. Indeed, the step is unprecedented, but in a situation of ongoing Russian aggression and, as usual, just "deep concern" from the West, the decision saw no alternative. Since Russia has decided to hold the Duma elections on the territory of Crimea, the protest against this step had to be as strong as possible, but no one would have done it for Ukraine.

The epicenter of world politics was in New York this week, at the annual session of the UN General Assembly. Political leaders use this platform to draw attention to events in their home countries. Petro Poroshenko addressed the UNGA speaking about the Ukraine conflict through the prism of problems of interest to various countries, with a violation of international law and the spread of terrorism among them. The Ukrainian president has also raised a sharp issue of the need to restrict the veto right for permanent members of the UN Security Council, but the initiative is unlikely to receive strong backing today.

While overseas, Poroshenko spoke not only with Barack Obama, but also held talks with Joe Biden, who at dusk of vice presidential term expressed confidence that Ukraine was able to provide special status to Donbas. It is not quite clear where Washington got this confidence because the official Kyiv has recently toughened its position on the Donbas conflict settlement. It is also indicative of the modern U.S. policy that Hillary Clinton has found the opportunity to meet with Poroshenko, while Donald Trump turned down such an opportunity for whatever reason.


Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte said that the Dutch parliament was unlikely to ratify the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement following the negative outcome of the non-binding referendum on this matter. This is the problem not only of the Netherlands but also of the entire European Union, and a generally acceptable way to resolve it must be found. Meanwhile, Ukraine continues to expect a visa-waiver decision by the EU which may be taken in October-November of this year. The Verkhovna Rada Speaker Andriy Parubiy is sure that visa liberalization is being delayed because of the migration crisis the European Union has faced.

A Trilateral contact group in Minsk agreed to disengagement of forces and hardware in three areas on the demarcation line in Donbas. In case of successful implementation, this step can demonstrate good will and on the other hand give European politicians new reasons to put pressure on Kyiv to speed up the process of resolving the crisis in the east of Ukraine. However, the Ukrainian authorities do not intend to compromise their own interests, at least, due to the instinct of self-preservation.

Yevgeny Magda

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