Week’s milestones. Unexpected Yanukovych, anticipation of decentralization and resignation of Ecology Minister Shevchenko
Russian authorities were prudent in showing Viktor Yanukovych to the world. The government has proposed to Parliament to dismiss the Minister of Ecology. Initiatives regarding the decentralization of power provoked diverse information flow.
The struggle for the right format of conflict settlement in the Donbas does not seem to be approaching the finish line, it rather becomes too sophisticated. It would be naive to believe that Russia has made that much efforts to enkindle the conflict in eastern Ukraine just to retreat shamefully and abandon its own idée fixe of turning our country into a failed state not only in the vocabulary of the Kremlin ideologists, but also in the objective reality of international relations. Meanwhile, the sanctions the European Union are unlikely to stop Putin and his entourage.
To achieve its goals the Kremlin decided to show to the world a disgraced ex-president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich who had not pampered his compatriots with political revelations for quite a while. Deprived of the presidential status, Viktor Yanukovych not only informed about his touching concern for the ostriches in his former Mezhyhiria residence, but reiterated the theses earlier repeatedly voiced by the the Kremlin on Crimea belonging to Russia and the need for direct negotiations between Kyiv, Donetsk and Luhansk. These statements confirm yet another time that Yanukovych has long ceased to be politically independent.
In the wake of common emotional attitude toward the conflict in the Donbas the decentralization initiatives previously approved by the Constitutional Commission are perceived with increased skepticism. Poroshenko is trying to prove that he does not seek to increase his authority in the process of decentralization. Comments of other politicians who will be involved in this process do not suggest that there is a consensus on this issue. We can only exclude the statements of Volodymyr Hroisman which have benn constantly reflecting presidential opinion. For example, the Speaker of Parliament has urged his colleagues to abstain from summer holidays, because the situation requires the Verkhovna Rada to remain on high alert.
Yatsenyuk continues to persist on possible reduction of utility fees, recently referencing the conclusions of the auditors from the Great Four. The Prime Minister made it clear that he “inherited” a very difficult situation on his post, and it is unlikely there will be anyone willing to compete with him on his position in serving the Homeland.
However, Yatsenyuk does have one competitor for the Prime Minister’s chair. This is the current head of the Odessa Regional State Administration Mikhail Saakashvili, who has been recently scolding various officials not only at the regional, but also at the national level.
Meanwhile, the first Minister who may be kicked out from his office is Ihor Shevchenko, Ukraine’s Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources who had been nominated in December, 2014 by the Batkivschina party. Today, the party diligently tries to distance itself from its nominee, and even the other minister nominated by this party, Ihor Zhdanov, is expected to rather support the government’s proposal to dismiss Shevchenko than back up his colleague. Knowing some peculiarities of Ukrainian politics, I suggest that the process of dismissal of the minister, who managed to get into a spotlight revealing “dangerous ties” with Oleksandr Onishchenko, became a real test for the majority in Parliament. It was not only a test of its strength, but rather of the expediency of its existence. Appetite grows with eating, and the appetite for human resources in government is no exception.