Ukrainian political analysts commented on the statement of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who accused current Ukrainian Government of leading anti-Russia course and announced the decision to postpone the coming of new Russian Ambassador to Ukraine.
Vadim Karasev, the Head of the Global Strategies Institute:
“Today everything done by Ukraine, Russia or other geopolitical centers is connected with oncoming presidential elections in Ukraine. Russian Government risked undertaking such a sound diplomatic demarche instead of solving the problem of bilateral relations in the silent diplomatic manner, rather than in the manner of sound claims diplomacy. The letter of Medvedev had two goals.
First of all, to direct internal political preferences on pro-Russian political powers and to prevent the re-election of the current Ukrainian Government. The logic is the following: to raise a disturbance around the crisis of bilateral relations and to accuse acting authorities of it, also to demonstrate that the “orange” power is a bankrupt, as it is not able to lead “normal”, “mutually beneficial” diplomacy and friendly pragmatic course within the relations with Russia.
Secondly, already now Russia is getting ready to turn Ukrainian foreign policy course for 180 degrees. In order to attach Ukraine to the sphere of influence of Russia privileged interests, to prevent its withdrawal from the post-Soviet area that is vanishing at the moment, and to force it to refuse of West-centric course that it has been following from the moment of independence acquiring. For Russia Ukraine is independent when it is dependent from Russia”.
Aleksander Palij, a leading expert of the Foreign Policy Institute of the Academy of Diplomacy at Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
“This is an attempt to influence the oncoming Presidential elections and to promote puppet regime in Ukraine. In addition actions of Medvedev should be viewed in the context of competition between him and a former President and a current Prime-Minister Putin.
As for the statements of Russian Government about anti-Russian policy of Yushchenko, this is absolutely non-sense. Exactly Russian authorities lead rigid persistent anti-Ukrainian propaganda in Russia. As a result most Russian people treat Ukrainians negatively. Despite all the efforts of the Kremlin most Ukrainian people treat Russians positively.
Let’s take for example the recent visit of the Patriarch Kirill of Moscow that was organized at the summit level by Ukrainian Government. Even considering that during that visit Kirill actively propagated policy against state interests of Ukraine. Or the recent situation with the expulsion of diplomats, where Kiev acted highly ethically from the very beginning. Striving to avoid the expulsion they tried to convince Russian diplomats to give up the actions contradicting their diplomatic status for two days.
In general current actions of Russian Government are perfectly depicted in the famous novel “1984” by George Orwell. For this kind of regimes “peace is a war, white is black, the truth is a lie”, and so on. Russian President with its open address roughly strives to affect Ukrainian society. It seems that the Kremlin simply can’t act differently. They consider force and compulsion to be the most natural and effective solution. But I’m convinced that as in 2004 the effect will be adverse”.
Andrey Yermolayev, the President of the Social Research Center “Sophia”:
“I agree that Russian politicians and Moscow in general have reasons to criticize Ukrainian Government. There were too many harsh claims that contradicted the format of strategic partnership, declared by the both parties. This is connected with discussions around NATO and really doubtful initiatives on historic dates. But I consider this letter to be a bad move for the President of Russia.
The main reason for such a letter was, firstly, the last diplomatic war in summer, which Russia should principally win. This moment explains ideological assessments of Kiev policy in Medvedev’s letter. And secondly, today it’s extremely important for Moscow to influence the situation in Ukraine within the context of oncoming Presidential elections as well as after the end of election campaign.
Obviously, this claim will result in a significant worsening between Ukraine and Russia. Moreover there are fears that the Kremlin can use this worsening to solve its anti-crisis tasks that is why it is possible that this worsening will change economic relations with Ukraine. We can surely say that Russian card gets back to Ukrainian elections although people didn’t need it till Medvedev’s letter. This is highly beneficial for radical political powers striving to organize these elections under the laws of political war”.
Vladimir Fesenko, the Head of the Political Analytics Center “Penta”:
“Formally such a statement was issued not to forward the ambassador to Ukraine for a definite period. And this is already a serious political demarche. But Russia has no direct reasons, as most part of claims pointed by Russian President in his open address have been on agenda for past two-three years.
It means that I see reasons for such a move of Russia as follows.
Firstly, Ukrainian Presidential campaign starting any day. The Head of the Kremlin made it clear for Ukrainian political elite that he doesn’t want to deal with President Yushchenko any more, clearly specifying the list of problems that a new President will have follow to promote relations with Russia.
But it would be a mistake to think that the Kremlin supports any of candidates. Russia doesn’t underline its pre-election priorities, as well as the USA according to the recent visit of the Vice-President Biden.
It only states the subjects and problems it cares about, but the rest is “up to you to decide”. Moscow demonstrates to Ukraine that “If you don’t change your pro-NATO course, don’t give up your positions on Golodomor, Black Sea fleet, then relations will be the same harsh as today. And don’t you count to improve them”. But this position can play against Moscow giving Youshchenko additional points among nationalistic voters.
Secondly, the anniversary of Russia-Georgia war. The statement of Medvedev matches with the context of other decisions adopted on the eve of the August anniversary. Particularly, yesterday’s legislative initiative of President Medvedev “On actions of Russian military troops out of the boarders of the Russian Federation”. This initiative clearly shows the whole international community that Russia proceeds its rigid foreign political course within the territory of former Union and it is ready to use wide range of methods and means to fulfill its interests”.
Aleksey Garan, professor of Political Science Department of NaUKMA. The Рead of the National Security Research Center and the School of Political Analytics at NaUKMA:
“Judging on video-blog demonstrating a part of this sound statement, the intonation and phrases of Medvedev remind Putin’s rhetoric a lot. The structure of the claim and its sense shows that there are no hopes that the new Master of the Kremlin will lead more liberal policy towards Ukraine. Russia gets back to the policy of 2004, when the Kremlin staked on one candidate in Ukrainian Presidential campaign. In addition exactly Medvedev within the past Presidential campaign was responsible for the Ukrainian branch of the Kremlin. This statement demonstrates that Medvedev hasn’t forgotten the failure in 2004 and wants to get his own.
The recent visit of Patriarch Kirill to Ukraine, that Russian President also reminded, and the care of Yanukovich about Kirill and the meeting of Patriarch with Medvedev after the visit to Ukraine – these are links of one chain, proving that Russia intends to interfere into the Presidential campaign in Ukraine actively. And judging on the character and the mood of accusations, the statement was mostly directed to support Yanukovich rather than any other candidate. In 2004 this was a boomerang, as it provoked the worsening of the image of Russia in Ukraine. It’s hard to say how this kind of actions will affect Ukrainian-Russian relations today, but for sure we should wait for the aggravation of tension of the Kremlin towards Ukraine.
Translated from Glavred