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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Another chance for the Verkhovna Rada

While opposition talks about its action plan and government advertises newly appointed Party-of-Regions prime minister, Euromaidan is determined to struggle on
18 February, 2014 - 11:13
Photo by Borys KORPUSENKO

Things are moving. Over the weekend, the authorities and the opposition reached a compromise on one issue at least, allow­ing the amnesty law to come into effect on February 16. The opposition initiated eva­cuation of the Kyiv City State Admi­nis­tration (KCSA) building and a number of regional administrations buildings, and partially restored traffic in Hru­shev­sky Street. In return, the authorities pledg­ed to close all court cases against pre­vious­ly detained protesters within a month.

The deal involved international me­dia­tion. In particular, the act on the transfer of Kyiv city hall was signed by its former revolutionary governor Ruslan Andriiko and Ambassador of the Swiss Confede­ra­tion Christian Schoenenberger. The newly appointed head of the KCSA Volody­myr Makeienko did not sign it, but stressed that he would not press any claims against the protesters.

Meanwhile, many Euromaidan acti­vists were uneasy with the deal, with some of them accusing opposition politi­cians of “selling out the protest,” “bet­rayal” and “refusal to explain anything.” Others, on the contrary, saw the latest moves by the opposition to be a success. “The main thing is to get all our im­pri­son­ed brethren released,” The Day heard from self-defense fighters. “In any case, no­body will evacuate Maidan, while the KCSA building can be recaptured by us at short notice.”

However, both pessimists and opti­mists looked very tired. After months of protest, feelings of uncertainty, extreme exhaustion, and lack of concrete results from the talks between the government and the opposition have only intensified. “Viktor Yanukovych does not want to make concessions, while Oleh Tiahnybok, Vitalii Klitschko, and Arsenii Yatseniuk are unable to force him to,” one of Right Sec­tor activists, who asked not to be iden­tified, told The Day. “The Euromaidan is the only factor that prevents them from clinching a behind-the-scenes deal already. We must keep up our pressure on them.”

February 18 is billed as yet another decisive day. Once again, politicians on both sides of the divide see the parliament as the platform to find a way out of the cri­sis. Protesters, too, hope that the Ver­khov­na Rada will work efficiently. Instead of going to revolutionary bar­ri­cades, they call on opposition leaders to turn into ne­go­tia­tors equal to those on the government side.

Photo by Mykola TYMCHENKO, The Day

“The opposition will receive from us all the moral support it needs,” the protesters maintain. “We have enough energy to power them all.”

Meanwhile, Ukrainian politicians go to consult with their foreign counterparts before making important decisions, and these trips have already become a “tra­di­tion.” The opposition accuses Yanu­ko­vych of conducting covert “consultations” with Russian president Vladimir Putin, while the authorities respond with alle­gations of a “political conspiracy” involv­ing opposition leadership, the US and EU.

This time, it was leader of Bat­kiv­shchy­na Arsenii Yatseniuk and head of the UDAR Vitalii Klitschko who went to hold talks abroad. German chancellor Angela Merkel invited them, officially to seek ways to resolve the political crisis in Ukraine, but unofficially, “the opposition is interested in more active involvement of the EU and greater pressure on the go­vern­ment,” political analyst Volo­dy­myr Lupatsii told The Day.

“I do not think the opposition’s actions will depend on today’s meeting,” UDAR MP Pavlo Rozenko disagreed in his com­ment for The Day. “We have a plan of our own which we are implementing and will continue to do so. The EU is interested in peaceful resolution in Ukraine, so that the union bordered a zone of stability, rather than a warzone or conflict zone.”

Actually, The Day’s sources in Bat­kiv­shchyna said that the political and eco­no­mic stabilization of the country would do­mi­nate the talks in Germany. The main reason for the diplomatic activity of the EU is the threat of Ukraine’s default, likely to occur in a week or two.

Photo by Mykola TYMCHENKO, The Day

Such statements, among others, have repeatedly been coming from Russian officials. They warned that Yanukovych would not get another installment of Rus­sian credit line while Ukraine had no Ca­bi­net. International players have entered the Ukrainian game.

The president’s inner circle has its own plans for the parliament’s efficient work. The new prime minister should consolidate representatives of various political and financial groups in the Party of Regions and banish all talk of a split in the faction, experts maintain. “The Verkhovna Rada should work, MP Mykhailo Chechetov stat­ed. “We expect that, executing his constitutional powers, the president will submit the candidacy of prime minister to the Verkhovna Rada this week. We will not find enough votes for an opposition can­di­date, so prime minister will come from the Party of Regions.”

Chechetov described his vision of the new head of government as “professional, good organizer, strong top manager.” When asked who he meant, the Region­naire avoided any definite answers. “The president knows better, and we in the Par­ty of Regions will support his de­ci­sion,” the MP said.

Meanwhile, the opposition maintains that they will definitely not support any candidate coming from the current govern­ment. “Trying to push a prime ministerial candidate from the inner circle through the parliament without consulting the factions can contribute to overcoming the economic crisis, but not the political one. On the contrary, it will only exacer­bate it,” Ro­zenko said. “It is desirable that the next prime minister get at least 400 votes. It is possible. The political solution must be sought only in dialog with the president.”

The opposition members are growing more reluctant to discuss the likelihood of a quick return to the Constitution of 2004. They have failed to enlist the help of the Party of Regions MPs. “The chance has been lost,” the representatives of the parliamentary minority state bluntly.

Tactics of the authorities is clear. They still think that the Euromaidan will dissolve on its own, and use delaying tac­tics to bring that result. The opposition has actually quitted active political games and places its hopes solely on support of international mediators and the results of behind-the-scenes agree­ments with the government. No side is still seeing the Euromaidan as a factor in this political card game.

By Yulia LUCHYK, The Day