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Fall again?

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Par Ian Bremmer Rédigé le 12/06/2011 (dernière modification le 12/06/2011)

At first sight, despite the summer has come, it is only wording considering political nonsense… Unfortunately, it is only the primary impression, regardless of the modern Ukrainian-Russian relations status.

The political climate in Europe shall be warm and mild for all its population

Illustration proposée par l'auteur
Illustration proposée par l'auteur
It seems recently both parties have forgiven and forgotten mutual insults, suspicions in insincerity and former neglects. Immediately after it both political and economic renaissance have started.
Both countries have received real possibilities to improve living standards of their citizens by means of strengthening of bilateral economic cooperation as well as implementation of humanitarian and social projects.
Furthermore such progress of situation inspires neighbors from EU with optimism. Stable good-neighborhood relations between Ukraine and Russia are a guarantee of the all-European stability, in particular, in energy filed.
However, almost forgotten coolness could be felt in the President Medvedev's speech during the press-conference in Skolkovo near Moscow. In his public statement Russian President actually confronted Ukraine with a rigid choice: “You're either for us (Russian empire with its satellites as Ukraine and Belarus) or against us with Europe”!
Such position of official Kremlin threatens not only to bilateral relations; it causes damage to the system of international law, dictating its own political will to another country in such state of dependence.
Such policy of Moscow can cause worsening of relationship not only with Ukraine, which in contrast to Russia, accurately observes all interstate bilateral agreements first of all within the limits of so-called “Kharkov agreement”, but also with other states of the former Soviet Union interested in realization of the common integration projects, including in the field of economy. It shall be recalled that under “Kharkov agreement” Ukraine has provided its territory to Russia for dislocation of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and demonstrates good neighbor relations, and in response Russia has promised to reduce price on gas supply and to provide conditionally free access of Ukrainian goods to Russian market.
Political ambitions of Russian President are entirely clear. In the near future Russia will be holding the next presidential campaign. In comparison with the manly ex-KGB agent Vladimir Putin whose image associates with his flights in a fighter, submerging in a nuclear submarine, sambo wrestling, the former Petersburg scientist looks too modest. It contradicts to the image of the leader of “the new Russia”, which “got up from its knees” and is going to demonstrate it to all powerful players on international scene. May be “Napoleon” needs his “Austerlitz” like Georgian events of 2008 to increase his “height” over V. Putin. At the same time, such ambitions can have a bad influence on the general relations with Europe. Violation of international law and barefaced aggression on neighbors has negative impact on the safety of the “Old world”. It is impossible to deny that such position does not give the dividends. Immediately after Russian President statement, Russia has got advantages for solution of the Black Sea border issue with Ukraine. Now it is possible to track the next step of political pressure – “harmonization” of a position concerning gas pricing. The Russian Federation continues to punish rebellious states by pressure in the field of power resources. If Ukraine loses ground it will be possible that already by the end of the year Russia will receive carte blanche for its aggressive policy in the European territory.
Presidents come and leave, but cooperation between neighboring countries shall continue. It is clear that today Russia receives certain political dividends, using economic pressure. But tomorrow the situation can change and other political players can become the centers of interest for ex-Soviet republics. This is the case if, for example, energy markets conditions change essentially.
Efforts of D. Medvedev to impose on official Kiev the priority of a certain direction in the foreign policy do not meet the modern international democratic standards, violate principles of neighborliness in interstate relations and evidences an adherence of D. Medvedev to an aggressive foreign policy launched in 2007 by V. Putin with “the Munich speech”.
Munich has already fallen into disrepute because of the events of twenties-thirties of the past century. Therefore Putin's affront is not apprehensible enough. The Russian leader has actually given a dare to the United States and their allies.
It is a direct threat to system of international security which has developed during last decades. If Russian leadership achieves success, the precedent for solution of international problems and issues concerning demarcation of borders and territorial disagreements with use of economic and political pressure will be created.
Modern Ukraine follows the way of a civil society and democratic institutes formation and is one of the most liberal of the countries in the ex-Soviet territory. Therefore the well-considered foreign policy of official Kiev deserves support of EU countries, the USA, Canada and other states for which freedom and right of choice are determinative.
If under support of the European community Ukraine protects the national interests and, especially, most important - the right of a free political choice, the precedent will be created serving for a long time as warning for states that still have latent intentions to dictate their will.
And the political climate in Europe will be warm and mild for all its population.
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