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Lithuania
 
  Is it necessary to interfere into the Ukrainian affairs?

Darius Varanavièius, political scientist, executive editor of the magazine "The State"
2007 05 01

On Thursday (12 April, 2007), Prime Minister of Lithuania G. Kirkilas left for Kiev - maybe he expected to solve the Ukrainian political crisis and to prolong the tradition which has been started by V. Adamkus during Orange Revolution...

In view of the context of participating in the Ukrainian affairs, the above efforts could imply the desire to coherently consolidate the regional standing of Lithuania and good relationship with neighbors. The role of V. Adamkus in opening the door to power for V. Yushchenko, and reaction of part of the Ukrainian society to the above support, contributed to the creation of a positive image of Lithuania in Ukraine, especially in its western part. However, the actual political effect of this continuity is possible only subject to one condition: it has to flexibly respond to the dynamic of regional policy and to changes in the power balance.

Meanwhile the current situation in Kiev is far from what happened during Orange Revolution. Then both, supporters of V.Yushchenko and observers of the presidential elections from the West have clearly stated that the assumed victory of V. Yanukovich is the result of electoral violations. The balance of attitudes of the society (except, maybe, Doneck), was also very clear. Support of V. Yushchenko meant support of democracy, solidarity with the West and at least a moral right to interfere into affairs of Ukraine.

Therefore, it is more than strange when former president of Poland A. Kvashnievski or the Lithuanian delegation lead by G. Kirkilas, identify the current situation in Ukraine with „orange“ times.

The formal side of this confrontation: V. Yanukovich has taken the post of Prime Minister lawfully since his party‘s results were the best during the elections to the Supreme Rada.  The fact that the leader of the Party of Regions (V. Yanukovich) has managed, by using various political maneuvers, to significantly cut powers of the Ukrainian president and attract former supporters of V. Yushchenko, is an internal matter of Ukraine. The decision of V. Yushchenko to release Rada and organize early parliamentary elections is not only a protest against the opponents, but also a step indicating his desperation. This can be confirmed by the recent maneuvers of the conflicting parties: they say that V. Yushchenka is determined to declare a moratorium to his order on the release of Rada.

Informal side of confrontation is clearly seen in the streets of Kiev: the orange color is no longer a dominating color and the number of supporters of V.Yanukovich is increasing. This is reflected in various political ratings according to which the Ukrainian president is departing to the second plan.

However, the key features of the Ukrainian crisis are reflected in the formal criteria. In view of the above, a question arises: is it necessary for Lithuania to interfere into the internal affairs of Ukraine? In case of a primitive approach to the situation, (pro-Western V. Yushchenko or pro-Russian V. Yanukovich), we could imagine ourselves as defenders of the Western values.  However, the current situation in Ukraine is very vague, moreover that today V. Yanukovich responds to foreign supporters more favorably and makes another political maneuver, which might become a real trap for the Western ambassadors.

In the above context the mission of the Lithuanian delegation seems strange, moreover that Western countries show no interest in the Ukrainian crisis. Hopefully, this time G. Kirkilas will avoid direct evaluations or expressions of likes and dislikes in Kiev. However, it is clear that both parties in conflict will do everything in order to attribute their colors - orange or white-blue-red – to the above high level guests.

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