16 April, 2013 13:00 ▪
Alexander Motyl: EU will never sign an Association Agreement with Ukraine’s version of Robert Mugabe
“If and when the regime turns against the democratic opposition à la Belarus, Russia, and Uzbekistan, Yanukovych’s legitimacy, already flagging, will go into negative numbers. Worse, he’ll have to admit that he is a dictator supported by an illegitimate parliament incapable of pursuing reform, promoting European integration, and saving the economy from collapse. Yanukovych will own the entire mess. The European Union will never sign an Association Agreement with Ukraine’s version of Robert Mugabe, while Russia’s President Putin will turn up the neo-imperialist pressure on Little Russia. Yanukovych will finally be completely isolated—from the world and from his people,” Motyl underlines.
“Even if Yanukovych has the sense to mediate a compromise between the two Radas, the precedent—and, thus, the ongoing threat—of dual sovereignty will have been set. The only solution to such an implicitly unstable condition is to abolish the existing Rada via a referendum, establish a rubber-stamp institution in its place, and institute a winner-take-all single round of presidential elections, in the hope that the opposition will be unable to agree on a single candidate for the 2015 elections.
This approach could end up destroying Ukraine. If the Party of Regions Bolsheviks exclude a majority of the country from having a voice, and if Yanukovych wins the ballot by dividing the majority, the cleft between the Party of Regions thugs and the democrats will only grow, and the overlapping divides between supporters of Europe and supporters of Russia, between supporters of modernity and supporters of the Soviet past, and between supporters of Ukrainian independence and Little Russian vassalage will deepen. Social, cultural, and economic tensions will increase and large-scale civil disturbances will become likely. Once violence, either from below or from above, enters the picture, as it certainly could in this scenario, Ukraine will become ungovernable. At that point, Europe’s Zimbabwe may become Europe’s Syria,” expert claims.
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