Tuesday, 6 May 2014

UKRAINE-CRISIS: The Only way forward....

Events in Ukraine are in a downward spiral. Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov has admitted that the government in Kiev has lost control over parts of the country’s southeast. The mass deaths of mainly pro-Russian separatists in Odessa on May 2 have fed into further mobilization and polarization. Western governments and Russia are locked in a new round of mutual accusations and threats of sanctions.

It's time to put an end to the subterfuge and insanity. It is time for a judicious political process and for cooperation in the Ukraine crisis. To contain the forces of madness in Ukraine, the West-U.S. must prepare to work together with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On the issue of Ukraine, an asymmetrical resolve is currently prevailing. Vladimir Putin is prepared to deploy his military after learning that numerous US agents are helping the coup-appointed government in Ukraine to “fight organized crime” in the south east of the country. According to German newspaper Bild the CIA and FBI are advising the government in Kiev on how to deal with the ‘fight against organized crime’ and stop the violence in the country’s restive eastern regions.

In terms of the goal in Ukraine: Peace must trump unity and unity must be decided by the majority in each region. It would be good if the Ukrainians remained one cohesive country because that would offer them the best prospects for prosperity. But if the people in the eastern part of the country determine they absolutely want to declare their independence or become part of Russia, they should also be given the possibility to do so. If a majority determines it wants to remain part of Ukraine, then everything possible must be done to ensure that the country remains intact. The people shouldn't be forced into a hurried vote under pressure as happened in Crimea. It should be done in an orderly manner.

The path to that end begins with trust. The West loses nothing by making it clear that Ukraine will not become a member of NATO or the EU in the foreseeable future and the U.S. should at least refrain in sending CIA operatives in Ukraine. Such a pledge would assuage Russian fears of the two alliances moving even closer to Russian territory and would stabilize their sense of security.

It is imperative that the forces driving the current madness be contained. The first step must be a cease-fire observed and enforced by both sides. Both the ultra-nationalist militias in western Ukraine and the separatists in the east must be disarmed and reined in. This is already called for in the Geneva agreement and needs finally to be fulfilled. The second step is a referendum in eastern Ukraine under the oversight by the international community. If separatism prevails, then the West will have to live with it. If unity prevails, then Russia must accept it.

There are two dates right now that are disrupting that path. Ukrainians in the eastern part of the country want to vote on secession on May 11. The government in Kiev wants to hold elections across the entire country on May 25. It is too early for either of these votes to take place. Ukraine needs time and repose before balloting can begin; intimidated voters cannot make their decision freely. An additional three months would be appropriate. Disarmament and peace must come first, then the referendum and then elections.
 
It would be chaotic to hold a poll when the regime in Kiev was conducting military operations in the southeast of the country. The absence of violence would be one of the criteria that will  legitimize the presidential election, as well as the upcoming referendums in Donetsk and Lugansk.
 
By Guylain Gustave Moke
Political Analyst/Writer
Investigative Journalist/Author
 
Photo-Credit: Reuters-Photo-Mourners grieve at the coffin of Andriy Biryukov, a pro-Ukrainian activist killed in clashes on Friday, at his funeral in Odessa May 6, 2014.