16 August, 2013 17:11 ▪
Expert: the pro-Russian business lobby in Ukraine is today weaker than at the beginning of Yanukovych’s presidency
Using all its “soft powers” and lobbying in Ukraine the Kremlin endeavour to arouse public opposition to Ukraine’s association with the EU. Moscow also uses various economic pressures to prevent from signing the Association Agreement with the EU.
READ ALSO: Russia’s Soft Power Wars
“A controversial feature of Putin’s Ukrainian policy is the use of economic coercion and the neglect of incentives and relevant “soft power” tools to spur Ukraine’s economic integration with the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, or selling Ukrainian natural gas pipelines to Gazprom. Russia’s main policy instruments are unsophisticated trade barriers to reduce Ukrainian exports. Interestingly, the Kremlin directs such trade sanctions against the very representatives of the Ukrainian business elite who are deeply involved in trade and business with Russia and are friendly to this country: Viktor Pinchuk (steel pipes), Petro Poroshenko (confectionery), Anatoliy Yurkevych (dairy products). As a result, the pro-Russian business lobby in Ukraine is today weaker than at the beginning of Yanukovych’s presidency,” writes Maksym Bugriy for The Jamestown Foundation.
However, the expert admits that in politics pro-Russian lobby remains active and strong. “Viktor Medvedchuk, a seasoned, shrewd Ukrainian politician and the former head of President Leonid Kuchma’s administration in 2002–2005, has emerged at the center of the action,” Bugriy adds.
Moreover, there is a thought that “if Ukraine signs the Association Agreement, Vladimir Putin will not support Viktor Yanukovych in the 2015 presidential elections and might endorse Medvedchuk or another alternative candidate to Yanukovych.“
- Dmytro Tymchuk: Terrorists shelling Ukrainian military from Russian border again
- Bloomberg: US ready to impose tougher sanctions on Russia unilaterally
- National Defence and Security Council: A grouping of Russian military detected near Russia-Ukraine border in Luhansk Oblast
- Ukraine disappointed with EU sanctions against Russia
- Dmytro Tymchuk: Quite a few militants in the Donbas will lay down arms in ceasefire
- The New York Times: a business owner in Russia has a better chance of ending up in the penal colony system once known as the GULAG than a common burglar does
- Expert: Ukraine for Russia: either a partner in the Eurasian Union, or a buffer zone
- New Eastern Europe: Russian Orthodox "Foreign Policy" - best way to strengthen Kremlin's influence “near abroad”
- Ukraine’s “exports” to Belize grows 132,378%
- Eurasia Review on Russian aggression and Ukraine’s accession