Week’s milestones. Blockade developments, turmoil under Rada dome, and political itching
The shift in the vector of the assessment of Donbas trade blockade will see more developments. An attempt to give the floor to law enforcers allegedly injured during a bout with MP Volodymyr Parasiuk at a roadblock caused a scandal in the Verkhovna Rada. Political parties show optimism, which is in no way comparable with their actual influence on the situation in Ukraine. Roman Nasirov got bailed out for UAH 100 million (nearly $3.7 million), deposited by his wife.
Amid the noise of dozens of assessments of feasibility or futility of the blockade of goods transportation across the contact line in Donbas, some important issues have come to the fore.
First and foremost, the conflict was partially resolved without bloodshed. Unfortunately, there will be a negative economic effect, but the authorities can at least try to mitigate it if the government and parliament acting in concert.
Neither the emergency measures introduced in the energy sector nor the fiery appeals by Volodymyr Groysman can replace purposeful actions by the Cabinet of Ministers. In the context of confrontation with Russia, the rejection of energy resources and part of the proceeds from the export of steelmakers’ products must certainly be compensated by means of some extraordinary steps in the economy, rather than strengthening fiscal pressure. But do they get it in the government and parliament?
Meanhwhile, Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadoviy has become noticeably more active, showing that he’s ready to “suffer for a just cause” from the hands of the Prosecutor General’s Office. He started bombing the information space with harsh statements, which have always been out of his character, with such intensity, as if he had already said goodbye to his mayoral office at Lviv’s Market Square, being ready instead to lead rallies outside the Presidential Administration on Bankova Street in Kyiv.
MP Volodymyr Parasiuk was his main competitor in attracting media attention. However, his act was played in eastern Ukraine. Apparently, the deputy reminisced on his star performance at the Maidan back in 2014 which prompted the flight of ex-president Viktor Yanukovych. Today, the non-affiliated MP is a deep down supporter of the trade blockade in Donbas, and in a fit of struggle with his opponents this week, he set up a skirmish with law enforcers. At the same time, the desire of law enforcement to bring Parasiuk to justice and have his parliamentary immunity lifted is unlikely to be effective.
Deputy Speaker Oksana Syroid could not stand the nerves and called a close to the Rada meeting when the representatives of the Popular Front tried to give a floor to law enforcers with whom Parasiuk had gotten into a brawl at a roadblock in Slavyansk. It remains a real mystery, why Ms Syroid got scared of two people sporting camouflaged uniform, while many legislators prefer military outfits during their working hours. But it is obvious that it is getting harder to find a common language with people’s deputies.
Petro Poroshenko, who tried to gain control of the trade blockade in Donbas, stressed that he categorically opposed early parliamentary elections. It is no wonder that Yulia Tymoshenko and representatives of the Opposition Bloc adhere to the opposite point of view. Ms Tymoshenko uses all slightest chances to slam the government, which gives the impression that the very process of fighting for snap elections is more important for her than their potential outcome.
Political parties try to respond to the latest developments to the extent possible. BPP Solidarity did not dare to change their party leader, although Vitali Klitschko had long filed a resignation letter. Svoboda, the Right Sector, and the National Corps announced their intention to unite under the slogans traditional for the nationalists. At the same time, no one could guarantee that the political force with such ideology will be supported by voters wary of political turmoil.
Suspended fiscal chief Roman Nasirov, after several days spent in a pretrial detention facility, was released on a UAH 100 million bail, which is a record sum for Ukraine. Saying he doesn’t intend to evade investigators, he claims he is not going to flee the country. It's interesting, whether any conscious MPs started working on enhancing the Criminal Procedural Code, which at the moment is rather loyal to suspects, or will all their energy be wasted on celebrating the 100th anniversary of Ukrainian legislature?