Ucrania (Continuación)

Doomsayers have been lamenting the West’s imminent “loss” of Ukraine for years, and the trend has only picked up since Viktor Yanukovich was elected president in February. In the recent signing of an agreement prolonging the lease of a Russian naval base in Crimea, they see proof of the new president’s desire to cement his country’s status as a Russian satellite.

They’re wrong. Sort of.

True, it’s a bad deal. In exchange for rebates on natural gas until 2019, President Yanukovich has allowed Moscow to station its Black Sea Fleet in the port of Sevastopol until 2042. In doing so, he has allowed Russia to maintain a foothold in a particularly unstable part of Ukraine — Crimea — and to continue to project its military power in the volatile Black Sea region — not a minor development, especially after Russia and neighbor Georgia came to blows in August 2008.…  Seguir leyendo »

Dmitri Medvedev managed to get half-way through his presidency without ever visiting Kiev. That was before Viktor Yanukovich replaced the Kremlin’s bête noire, Viktor Yushchenko, as Ukrainian president in February. Since then, high-level meetings have taken place almost weekly, culminating in Mr. Medvedev’s state visit to Kiev this week. Mr. Medvedev has even taken to advertising his part-Ukrainian grandmother from Belgorod.

Mr. Yanukovich has now signed a huge number of agreements with Russia, most notably the deal to swap an extra 25 years for the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea for a 30 percent reduction in the price of gas.…  Seguir leyendo »

Unanimement saluée pour ses progrès en matière de démocratisation (liberté d’expression, scrutins réguliers, émergence d’une société civile), l’Ukraine est en train de vivre, avec l’arrivée au pouvoir du nouvel élu, Viktor Ianoukovitch, l’évolution inverse. Le résultat de l’élection du 7 février dernier a été précipitamment salué par Bruxelles et Washington, et le nouveau chef d’Etat a reçu les félicitations du monde entier.

Très vite pourtant, ce dernier commet de nombreuses entorses constitutionnelles et devance les exigences du Kremlin qui surenchérit chaque jour. L’accord signé avec Moscou pour que les navires de la Flotte de la mer Noire puissent mouiller en port de Sébastopol jusqu’en 2042, et non quitter en 2017 comme le notifiait l’accord précédent, met à Kiev le feu aux poudres.…  Seguir leyendo »

Es muy poco probable que el rumbo geopolítico de Víctor Yanukóvich como presidente de Ucrania dé un susto a Europa. Más bien todo lo contrario, ya que precisamente Yanukóvich puede ser el presidente que convierta en equilátero el triángulo Europa-Ucrania-Rusia, o dicho de otro modo, el que proponga a Europa y a Rusia reglas de juego correctas y, lo que es aún más importante, respetadas por Ucrania.

El primer argumento para confiar en una evolución positiva es psicológico. La primera ministra Yulia Timoshenko y Yanukóvich representan, a mi juicio, dos tipos psicológicos totalmente distintos.

Timoshenko pertenece a la categoría del «intermediario» clásico.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ucrania no está perdida todavía. No hay duda de que es un vuelco asombroso el hecho de que Víctor Yanukóvich, cuyo fraude en las elecciones presidenciales ucranianas de 2004 desató la revolución naranja, haya sido elegido ahora presidente; pero no es el triunfo de una contrarrevolución azul. En todo caso, confirma que Ucrania está convirtiéndose en una democracia seria, en vez de la democracia virtual de tipo ruso que era antes de la revolución naranja.

A diferencia de muchas supuestas elecciones en regímenes autoritarios, no hemos sido capaces de saber este resultado de antemano. Experimentados observadores internacionales han dicho que han sido unas elecciones libres y limpias.…  Seguir leyendo »

If Viktor Yanukovich, the winner of the presidential race in Ukraine, acts quickly to address his country’s pressing problems, he could move it out of the doldrums and cure the “Ukraine fatigue” afflicting Washington and most European capitals.

As Viktor Yushchenko exits the presidency, Ukraine faces a host of problems. It suffered a crushing 14 percent fall in gross domestic product in 2009. Unwise pricing policies and widespread corruption have put the critical gas sector in virtual bankruptcy. The nasty in-fighting between Mr. Yushchenko and his prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, kept Kiev from implementing needed responses to these challenges.

As a result, Ukraine fatigue has again gripped the West.…  Seguir leyendo »

La révolution, paraît-il, dévore presque toujours ses enfants. Cette citation est bien évidemment valable pour les «révolutions de couleur» – de Géorgie tout d’abord et d’Ukraine aujourd’hui – où le président sortant, Viktor Iouchtchenko, héros de la «révolution orange» en 2004, a été éliminé au premier tour de l’élection présidentielle il y a peu, avec moins de 6% des voix.

A ce stade, le printemps de liberté qui régnait sur l’Ukraine s’était déjà détérioré, son épanouissement atteignant le point mort, pour cause d’incompétence et de corruption mêlées, signes d’un fort désir de changement. Dans tous les cas, la Révolution orange ne sera plus.…  Seguir leyendo »

L’Ukraine fait figure d’«homme malade de l’Europe». Au sens littéral, c’est le pays qui a été le plus touché par l’épidémie de grippe A, avec plus de 300 victimes. Economiquement, elle n’est pas en meilleure santé: c’est bien d’un effondrement qu’il faut parler puisque le PIB a chuté de 18%, du fait de la chute de l’activité industrielle et des exportations d’acier, ainsi que des vulnérabilités du secteur financier. C’est dans ce contexte peu réjouissant que l’Ukraine élit son président. Si le précédent scrutin en 2004 avait donné lieu à une forte mobilisation des Ukrainiens, connue sous le nom de «Révolution orange», l’humeur du moment est donc nettement plus morose.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Francisco Veiga, profesor de Historia Contemporánea de Europa Oriental y Turquía de la UAB (EL PERIÓDICO, 18/01/09):

La nueva guerra del gas entre Ucrania y Rusia ha sido una versión corregida y ampliada de otras dos crisis similares, acaecidas en enero del 2006 y el 2008; y ello no ha sido por casualidad. El nuevo incidente ha tenido lugar precisamente pocos días antes de que el próximo presidente norteamericano, Barack Obama, jure el cargo: todo ello lo convierte en uno más de los conflictos sonda o recordatorio en este mismo periodo, tal como lo es la destrucción del gueto de Gaza.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Rosemary Righter (THE TIMES, 15/01/09):

It is hard to decide which is more despicable, the virulent untruths issuing from the Kremlin or the readiness of gas-starved European politicians to gang up on Ukraine. Russia’s insistence that the gas is there, if Ukraine would only pump it through, is pure KGB-speak.

Tuesday’s ceremonial reopening of the taps that Gazprom should never have turned off was a propaganda stunt, no more. What went through was a trickle, halted after a few hours. Not only that, but Gazprom insisted that its “trial” shipment be moved along a pipeline that Ukraine needs for domestic use, to supply Odessa and other cities.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Anne Applebaum (THE WASHINGTON POST, 13/01/09):

Like every continent, Europe has its rituals. In the spring, the storks return to the Low Countries from their winter nests in Africa. In the autumn, the French return to Paris from their beaches in the south. And in the winter, the Russians threaten to cut off the natural gas supplies to Ukraine.

Okay, they don’t do it every winter. But they did it in the winter of 2005-06, they did it in 2006-07, and when they once again switched off the taps, on New Year’s Day, it was impossible not to feel a wearisome sense of deja vu.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Federico Yaniz Velasco, General de Aviación (en retiro) y director adjunto del Estado Mayor Internacional de la OTAN para Cooperación y Seguridad Regional de mayo 2001 a junio 2005 (REAL INSTITUTO ELCANO, 26/11/08):

Tema: Los ministros de Asuntos Exteriores de la OTAN deben evaluar en su reunión de diciembre de 2008 si Georgia y Ucrania entran o no en el Plan de Acción para ser miembros de la OTAN.

Resumen: Los jefes de Estado y Gobierno de la OTAN, reunidos el pasado 3 de abril en Bucarest, encargaron a los ministros de Asuntos Exteriores que hiciesen una primera evaluación del progreso realizado por Georgia y Ucrania para unirse al Plan de Acción para el Ingreso (Membership Action Plan, MAP).…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Fernando del Pozo, director del Proyecto OTAN–UE del Real Instituto Elcano (REAL INSTITUTO EL CANO, 17/09/08):

Tema: El conflicto de Georgia ha vuelto a poner de actualidad los problemas entre Rusia y Ucrania a propósito del uso conjunto de la base y de Sevastopol.

Sumario: La nueva política exterior de Rusia en el Cáucaso dispone de varios instrumentos –económicos, diplomáticos y militares– para imponer su voluntad en una zona que le interesa tanto por razones geopolíticas como de consumo interno. Entre otros elementos de su poder militar en la zona, dispone de una fuerza naval y de una base en Sevastopol con limitaciones de uso.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Victor Yushchenko, president of Ukraine (THE WASHINGTON POST, 25/08/08):

The conflict in Georgia revealed problems that extend well beyond our region. Recent events have made clear how perilous it is for the international community to ignore «frozen conflicts.» The issues of breakaway regions in newly independent states are complex; too often, they have been treated as bargaining chips in geopolitical games. But such «games» result in the loss of human lives, humanitarian disasters, economic ruin and the collapse of international security guarantees.

Ukraine has become a hostage in the war waged by Russia. This has prompted Ukrainian authorities and all of our country’s people, including those living in the Crimea, to ponder the dangers emanating from the fact that the Russian Black Sea fleet is based on our territory.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Jesús López-Medel, presidente de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Ayuda Humanitaria de la Asamblea de la OSCE (EL PERIÓDICO, 06/06/08):

La historia contemporánea está llena de dictadores que con mayor o menor intensidad hicieron (o hacen) lo posible por negar toda virtualidad de libertad y democracia a sus ciudadanos. Si esto es algo generalizado en todas las latitudes del planeta, acaso los dos dictadores que con más crueldad actuaron a lo largo del siglo XX fueron dos europeos: un alemán nacido en Viena, Adolf Hitler, y un soviético proveniente de Georgia, Josef Stalin.
Ambos dirigieron su odio contra diversos colectivos por razones ideológicas, religiosas, culturales… o con cualquier excusa para desplegar, con el silencio de las sociedades que les amparaban, toda la brutalidad que llevaban dentro.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Adam Swain, a lecturer in the school of geography, University of Nottingham (THE GUARDIAN, 03/10/07):

The deft way in which Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, is trying to ensure he remains in power even after he has left the presidency will ensure that Ukraine remains a recurring theme in US-Russian rivalry. Its role in this geopolitical contest lessens further still the likelihood that Sunday’s parliamentary elections will resolve the long-running power struggle between the president, Viktor Yushchenko, and the prime minister, Viktor Yanukovych.It is a tangled, tense struggle. Yushchenko swept to power when the orange revolution was triggered by the attempts of Yanukovych’s backers to rig the 2004 presidential election.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Taras Kuzio, a research associate at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University and Stephen Larrabee, who holds the Corporate Chair in European Security at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization (THE WASHINGTON POST, 28/06/07):

The Ukrainian parliament has wound up its life and set the stage for early parliamentary elections on Sept. 30, four years ahead of schedule. The elections could give Ukraine’s revolution — recently mired in crisis — new momentum and have an impact elsewhere in the post-Soviet space.

President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych agreed to hold early elections after a tense two month stand-off, caused by Prime Minister Yanukovych’s attempt to diminish the powers of the president and reverse many of Yushchenko’s pro-reform and pro-Western policies.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Jackson Diehl (THE WASHINGTON POST, 28/05/07):

Amid the wreckage of the Bush administration it’s easily forgotten that the export of democracy to formerly unfree societies has not always been a failing policy. For a decade after the end of the Cold War, the United States and its European allies worked through NATO and the European Union to convert 10 post-Communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe. At the time it wasn’t clear that all or even any of them would embrace free elections and free markets. That they did was due in large part to the abundant tutelage, training, aid and tough love provided by the Western alliance.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Nat Copsey, a research fellow at the European Research Institute of the University of Birmingham, who is writing a book on Ukraine’s foreign policy. Response to A western-backed coup (THE GUARDIAN, 26/04/07):

The decree issued by Ukraine’s president Viktor Yushchenko earlier this month to dissolve parliament and hold early elections is no less than an attempted coup d’etat, apparently aided and abetted by western powers.Last year’s elections brought Viktor Yanukovych – Yushchenko’s nemesis during the rigged presidential elections of 2004 which led to the country’s so-called Orange Revolution – to power as prime minister at the head of a coalition government.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Anne Applebaum (THE WASHINGTON POST, 17/04/07):

And now, alert readers, it is time for a test: Here are two demonstrations, representing two political movements, that took place recently in two neighboring countries. For which country should fans of «democratization» cheer loudest?

Example No. 1: This demonstration took place in Moscow on Saturday. More precisely, it took place in Pushkin Square, legendary site of Soviet-era dissident protests. Some 2,000 to 3,000 people came to show their opposition to the Kremlin — and they were greeted by some 9,000 club-wielding riot police officers. About 200 people were arrested, including Garry Kasparov, the former world chess champion who was described in the Russian Web site Pravda.ru as «a political pawn who has sold his soul to the traitors who plot Russia’s demise.» Later, Kasparov was charged with «shouting anti-government slogans in the presence of a large group of people.»

Example No.…  Seguir leyendo »