Saturday, 21 August, 8906,14:09
   for-ua.com English version
ForUm -   -.     . Home| News| One-line news| Articles| Interview| Gallery| Comments| Forum| Archive| Service| Search| About us
Articles / 14 June 2010 | 12:26
Yanukovich shelves plans to federalize Ukraine for now

Yanukovich shelves plans to federalize Ukraine for now


Viktor Tikhonov, Ukraines new vice premier for regional policy, announced last week that Ukraine will remain a unitary state because the federalization of the country would be too expensive and problematic, thus putting off a change that many had thought President Viktor Yanukovich planned to make a centerpiece of his policy.

Indeed, since Yanukovich came to power, people in various parts of Ukraine and commentators in Moscow had argued that only federalization of that country could cope with the enormous divides among its regions, clearly on the assumption that the new pro-Moscow Ukrainian leader would move in that direction.

But Tikhonovs declaration suggests that any moves away from Ukraines unitary state will not take place anytime soon, a possible indication that Yanukovich fears such changes could get out of hand or a recognition by the Ukrainian president that federalization could end by costing him and his Party of the Regions real power.

In an essay posted on Materik.ru, Igor Lesev suggests that Tikhonovs views are authoritative and reflect two basic conclusions that the powers that be in Kyiv have reached: moving toward federalism now would be expensive and, what is more, culturally, Ukrainians are still not prepared for this (www.materik.ru/rubric/detail.php?ID=10054).

Given that Tikhonov is one of the most consistent supporters of the thorough-going federalization of Ukraine, Lesev argues, it is clear that his statement that for the moment at least, Ukraine will remain a unitary state, reflects the position of the Yanukovich regime rather than any change of heart on Tikhonovs part.

Any moves toward the federalization of that country would be long and difficult, Lesev notes. They would require a complete change in the form of the entire system of power of Ukraine, and what is most important, presuppose a cardinal change in the constitution of the country.

Any such change, therefore, would require some kind of agreement with the Ukrainian opposition, something not currently on offer. But the real reason for the regimes change of heart and Tikhonovs statement, Lesev argues, is not an assessment of how the opposition would react but rather of how Yanukovichs Party of the Regions sees the future.

Unlike his predecessors who either viewed it as an absolute value (Leonid Kuchma) or something that would prevent independent movements in the regions (Viktor Yushchenko), Yanukovich, Lesev says, was quite prepared to support the idea of federalization until it came to power but is now opposed to such a move because of its own calculation of self-interest.

Enjoying virtually unlimited power in the current centralized state, Yanukovich and his Party of the Regions want to leave everything as it is lest any shift reduce their control. On the one hand, federalization would lead to the rise of elites the current presidents party might not be in a position to control.

And on the other, local and regional elections could work against it even if the Party of the Regions were to win. That is because the regional candidates of the ruling party would have to appeal to groups that would tend to undermine Yanukovichs control even if those who won proclaimed their loyalty to him.

Consequently, the Party of the Regions is prepared to let things ride, assuming that it has sufficient time to move toward the federalization that it has always supported. But this is a mistake on their part, Lesev says, because any result of the elections that are now scheduled will make it more difficult for Kyiv to move toward federalization.

Success by the Party of the Regions will be a signal that the party is on the true path and that there is the chance to use unlimited government resources and that there is no sense in delegating power to the regions, Lesev argues.

At the same time, the analyst continues, success by the opposition will also make the process of the federalization of Ukraine more complicated since there will arise a powerful protest group in the regions and in the parliament.

In other words, if the regionals genuinely and not in words want to see the economic and in part political independence of regions, then they must conduct the reforms already now, something Tikhonovs words suggest they have decided against, because if they dont, then the process will be either impossible or become undesirable for the Donetsk elite.

Written by Paul Goble,
ForUm
Speaker meeting heads of diplomatic missions of EU countries
On February 3 in Kyiv, speaker of Ukrainian parliament Volodymyr Rybak held a meeting with heads of diplomatic missions of EU countries, accredited in Ukraine
Rada coordination board sitting
On February 3 in Kyiv, the coordination board of heads of parliamentary factions and committees held a sitting
NBU issuing commemorative coins dedicated to Olympic games
On February 3, the National Bank of Ukraine put into circulation two commemorative coins "XXII winter Olympic games" of value 10 and 2 hryvnias
Azarov saying good-bye to the Cabinet
On January 29, now acting Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and first vice PM Serhiy Arbuzov presided at a sitting of the acting Cabinet
VR holding extraordinary sitting
On January 28 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine held an extraordinary sitting
Protesters occupied Ukrainian House
On the night of January 25/26 protesters occupied the  building of the Ukrainian House in Yevropeiska square, previously vacated by law enforcements
09:49 February 6-7, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych pays working visit to the Russian Federation

4 February 2014
14:57 Skier Valentyna Shevchenko will bear Ukrainian flag at the opening of Olympic Games in Sochi
14:15 Rivne Regional Council chairman Yuri Kichatyi voluntarily resigned 

Read all news →
Top    
Editorial staff:english@for-ua.com
Republication or redistribution of ForUm content, including by framing or similar means,
is allowed with the reference to en.for-ua.com only.
All rights are reserved by LTD. Inter-Media, ForUm 2001-8906
bigmir)net TOP 100