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28 October, 2013 20:37   ▪  

Experts: Yanukovych is talking Putin into his scenario

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was scheduled to meet with Russia’s Vladimir Putin at the meeting of CIS presidents in Minsk on October 24-25. This meeting was scheduled. Instead, Yanukovych met with Putin in Sochi on October 27. The results of this meeting have not been disclosed.

So far, this does not look like some shadow arrangements between Ukraine’s and Russia’s presidents, political expert Vadym Karasiov told The Ukrainian Week in his comment on the lack of any information on the October 27 meeting.

“It is pre-term to talk about any ‘shadow’ arrangements because a very serious position-maneuvering discussion is unfolding. As to the widespread opinion that Putin is talking Yanukovych into joining the Customs Union and offering all kinds of integration carrots, including has discounts and loans – I don’t think it is correct. Putin is not talking anyone into anything; he has made a clear statement that Ukraine will have no privileges in the Customs Union free trade area once it signs the Association Agreement and FTA with the EU,” Karasiov said.

READ ALSO: Commission under President will consider the European Parliament’s request of pardon for Tymoshenko on October 24

“Quite on the contrary, Yanukovych is talking Putin into accepting his scenario for the solution of the integration dilemma. Apparently, the Ukrainian President sees this solution in simultaneous membership in two free trade areas – that of the EU and the Customs Union, thus enjoying free trade privileges in both integration entities,” he added.

In his opinion, the problem of negotiations between Ukraine and Russia is that “Putin is looking at this situation in terms of geopolitics and spheres of influence. In his opinion, Ukraine falls into the EU’s sphere of influence as a geopolitical rather than trade and economic entity with the signing of the Association Agreement. Meanwhile, Yanukovych is thinking in terms of trade and economy. The discussion is about seeking ways to combine these two viewpoints,” Karasiov noted.

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According to Volodymyr Fesenko, President of the Penta Centre for Applied Political Surveys, the meetings between Yanukovych and Putin are kept so secret because they fail to deliver any results. 

“There is no result so far. So, we will have some information only after specific arrangements are reached. Until then, the issue is too sensitive and the parties will not discuss the terms of negotiations publicly,” he claims. 

“Indirect indicators of possible arrangements may include Yanukovych’s decision on Tymoshenko and negotiations regarding energy or financial sectors. Subsequent meetings on the level of Boyko (Yuriy Boyko, Vice Premier – Ed.), Kolobov (Yuriy Kolobov, Finance Minister – Ed.) or Arbuzov (Serhiy Arbuzov, First Vice Premier – Ed.) will signal that the negotiations have turned to the practical field,” Fesenko says.

READ ALSO: The opposition believes that amnesty for Tymoshenko will allow Yanukovych to save face

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