Will Ukraine be Federalized?

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August, 29, 2016 – Fort Russ News – 
Ivan Sirko, Oleynik – translated by J. Arnoldski – 

In the political life of any country, there are significant developments and events which serve as a kind of litmus test, an indicator of the state’s ranking in the world political arena. Ukraine’s Independence Day was precisely such an indicative celebration. Kiev sent invitations to its ceremony to all of its “good” friends. Out of all high-ranking European guests invited, only Polish President Andrzej Duda came. The rest limited themselves to congratulatory telegrams – a complete disregard for the holiday which did not receive any visible reaction.

This fact allowed Ukraine’s political analysts to voice the opinion that the country has been cut out of the negotiation process on resolving the conflict in Donbass. In doing so, according to some political analysts, Europeans have demonstrated that they are tired of Petro Poroshenko and are now ready to solve problems without him. This indirectly confirms Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement that the “Normandy Format” would have to cease its work and negotiate without Kiev following the failed sabotage attempt in Crimea.

On the same note, the leader of the Ukrainian Politics Foundation, Kost Bondarenko, proposed quite radical actions up to the point of a Bosnian scenario.

“They talked with Poroshenko on good terms for a long time and convinced him of the necessity of resolving the situation in Donbass in the framework of the Minsk Agreements…Now, perhaps a different scenario will be put into action similar to the Dayton Agreement, i.e., large global players can recognize the incompetence of the Ukrainian government and endorse a settlement plan which would be brought to Kiev’s notice. They would be obliged to implement it,” the political analyst stated. 

The Dayton Agreement was an agreement on ceasefire, separating warring parties, and dividing territories which put an end to the civil war in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a result of the document, the country was transformed into a confederation consisting of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska. At the time of the settlement, a 60,000-strong NATO peacekeeping contingent was deployed in the country. In Bondarenko’s judgement, the same scenario can be realized in Ukraine.

The Minsk Agreement lays the foundation for federalization. 

“Has Porosehnko’s team requested that a peacekeeping contingent or police mission be deployed in Donbass? If the radicals raise their heads to frustrate the implementation of the settlement agreements, then such forces could be deployed throughout Ukraine. Someone will have to do so if the Ukrainian authorities can’t cope with the task,” the political scientist proposed.

Ukrainian authorities are perhaps beginning to understand that their Western partners’ patience is ending and are putting hopes in their forces alone. In this light the passage in Poroshenko’s speech in the 25th anniversary of independence can be assessed, in which he called the powerful UAF the best guarantor of Ukraine’s security, and not international agreements.

Europe is not up for Ukraine. European politicians are tired of messing around with the insane Ukrainian leadership. It’s time to treat Ukraine as it deserves, i.e., recognize that this is not even a state, but simply a territory which has lost all signs of statehood. The Ukrainian issue must be resolved as rapidly as possible, something which the Kiev leadership is incapable of. 

If this is the case, then resolving the Ukrainian problem along the Dayton pattern is quite likely. But it is even more likely that this will not mean the creation of a federation or confederation following the example of Bosnia and Herzegovina. These states, although they were in crisis, still commanded a certain share of respect on the world stage. Their leaders were still considered to be capable of negotiating. But this is not the case with Ukraine. In regards to Ukraine, Europeans could take utilitarian actions.

Some political analysts believe that, if the situation leads to a Dayton scenario, then the Europeans could propose to divide Ukraine into sectors of responsibility like in the example of post-war Germany. In each sector, a separate country of group of countries will maintain order. And then they will think what architecture of governance should be constructed for this territory.

However, this is only an opinion, one which does not take into account the role of overseas curators in the likes of US Vice President Joseph Biden. The members of the Normandy Four, Merkel, Hollande, and Poroshenko can by all means simply refrain from interfering and allow the United States to realize its policy objectives. But if this is the case, then they have to wait for US presidential elections and the inauguration of the new head of the White House. Only then will it become clear what the balance for Ukraine is. Donald Trump has one look at the situation and Hillary Clinton is another. But it is clear that someone else will have to be responsible for Ukraine.

But the United States itself is growing tired of Ukraine, and have recently quite sharply responded to some of Poroshenko’s steps. In recent months, even Biden has begun to less actively interfere in the activities of the Kiev government. It’s difficult to just wait around. Today, the Kiev government has a bunch of people with no political experience or political will amidst the collapsing economy, and is creating difficulties which the West is tired of.

Today’s Ukraine lives on US, IMF, EU, and World Bank handouts. The signing of the association agreement only worsened the situation, since according to it quotas are to be introduced for many types of products. For comparison: earlier Ukraine could provide Europe with two million tons of grain, but now it can only sell 300,000. The country’s budget is empty.

Under the circumstances of their own problems and still dealing with the global economic crisis, the Europeans have come to the conclusion that they do not want and will not continue to feed Ukraine. Hence their total disregard for the independence celebrations which, in the nearest future, will make a u-turn of 180 degrees.

“Up until 2014, Ukraine was a subject of international law,” says Ukrainian politician Vladimir Oleynik. “After the coup d’etat, it became an object of international law. The US Ambassador decides who will be Prime Minister, who will be President, and who will be General Prosecutor! But everything is coming to an end. The current impostors will have to leave the heights of political Olympus.”

Only Russia has always considered Ukraine a brotherly state. And today, no one has any use for Ukraine, except Russia. 

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