Ukrainian interest. Davos candor, EU approval, and deadlock in Minsk
The World Economic Forum in Davos was a perfect opportunity for the Ukrainian authorities to compare notes with the world's elite. The European Union approved the ongoing reforms in Ukraine, although hinting that they mustn’t be halted. The Tripartite Liaison Group in Minsk seems to be stuck. Moldova is challenged with a severe political crisis.
Every January, Davos brings together the representatives of the world's elite to discuss the pressing problems of the world. The Ukrainian issue can hardly be called today’s worldwide priority. However, the fact that George Soros and Sir Richard Branson were present at the "Ukrainian breakfast" is encouraging. The event was held under the "Chatham House rules," minimizing the risks of the leak of the agenda. However, it would be naïve to try to conceal the problems of Europe’s largest stated in today’s globalized world. They remain on the surface - corruption and the inability of the authorities to respond to the citizens’ high expectations.
The Ukrainian public remained skeptical about the European assessment.
As for the formal assessment by the European Union, both EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Federica Mogherini, and the European Parliament praised the current efforts of the Ukrainian authorities in reforming the country. For obvious reasons, the Ukrainian public was quite skeptical about the European assessment, but the MEPs also noted the success of Moldova and Georgia. Another thing is to understand that the times of large-scale political concessions for those who wish to become members of the European Community are over.
However, the officials of the major western powers do not forget to address the issue of the Donbas settlement. For example, French President Francois Hollande sees the need to restore Ukraine’s control of the Ukrainian side of the border with the subsequent lifting of sanctions against Russia. The U.S. State Secretary John Kerry doesn’t rule out this scenario either, in case the Kremlin implements the Minsk deal while his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier bolsters the official Kiev to the adoption of the law on elections in Donbas. However, the Germany’s top diplomat did not specify, how it can be implemented, while none of the Minsk-2 provisions are not fully implemented.
The Kremlin gives an asymmetric response, engaging Ramzan Kadyrov against the opposition.
Perhaps, the West is expecting more flexibility from Russia amid the dramatic plunge of oil prices and the hiking ruble volatility. The Kremlin gives an asymmetric response, engaging Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov against the opposition as if to show that there are politicians in stock, less negotiable than Putin. The accelerating reduction of Russia’s international reserves facilitates planting the atmosphere of a besieged fortress in the Russian society, which Russians take for granted. By the way, the reduction of the funding of the army and the security services will only be the Kremlin’s last resort.
The conclusion of the Royal Court in London on Putin’s probable complicity in the murder of ex-Russiam spy Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 is certainly not a verdict. But at the same time, the prestige of British Justice suggests that the West has black-marked the Russian president.
Moldova is going through the real turbulence, as a billion euros scam had a really painful impact on the internal political situation. As a result of the confrontation between the corrupt “supporters” of the European integration and the pro-Russian leftist forces, an angry mob stormed the parliament building in Chisinau, albeit with a lesser damage to the political environment than a few years ago. Today, no one takes to predict a favorable end to the current crisis.