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12 April, 2013 16:57   ▪  

Tadeusz Olszański: Lutsenko’s release is the only concession which President Yanukovych and his entourage are willing to make

After Yuriy Lutsenko`s pardon EU must not expect any real democratisation of Ukrainian political system, Tadeusz A. Olszański, expert at Center for Eastern Studies, Polish think-tank, says in his analytical report for the institution.

“Lutsenko’s release was possible because the authorities do not consider him as a political threat (in contrast to Yulia Tymoshenko). However, we may assume that this is the only concession which President Yanukovych and his entourage are willing to make. In particular, we must not expect the reform measures which the EU requires to be implemented. At most, we may expect some superficial reforms, but these will not result in any real democratisation of the system. In addition, the introduction of any legislative changes would make the worsening parliamentary crisis (the opposition is blockading the parliament) even more difficult. Nor should we expect the release (for example, in the form of a pardon) of Yulia Tymoshenko, whom the ruling elite still consider a real threat to the existing political system. As a result, this improvement in relations between the EU and Ukraine will be short-lived,” expert writes.

READ ALSO: The Lutsenko Pardon: Enough to Appease the EU?

Olszański claims that Lutsenko will likely return to active political life, as long as his health allows him to.

“It seems likely that Lutsenko, while unable to stand for election, will focus on organising protests, in which he has extensive experience as one of the organisers of the Orange Revolution; in this way he will build up his popularity, and also perhaps a new social movement.

It is difficult to assess the current levels of support for Lutsenko, but his talent as a speaker at mass meetings and as an organiser could bring him a rapid increase in popularity – which in turn will raise the disquiet of other opposition leaders, especially Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Oleksandr Turchynov, the leaders of Batkivshchyna, the party ideologically closest to Lutsenko, ” Olszański notes. 

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