Ukraine

Ukraine Ratifies E.U. Association Deal, Grants Rebels Self-Rule

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With much fanfare, Ukraine is pushing forward in its fight for economic integration with the European Union. But, quietly, the government is also granting autonomy to the eastern regions occupied by Russian-backed forces.

The Ukrainian Parliament adopted a law that will "for the period of three years" allow "local self-government as well as activity of local bodies of self-government in separate regions of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts." Local elections will take place in November. The parliament adopted another measure to grant some separatists ("except those who have committed serious crimes") amnesty.

As the BBC notes, these deals were "laid out" as part of the September 5 ceasefire agreement, which was devised by Russia's Vladimir Putin.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko assures that this laws respect the "sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence" of Ukraine."

The concession were made during "a closed-door session — an anomaly in Ukrainian parliament," reports the Associated Press.

By contrast, the Ukrainian Parliament loudly ratified a long-awaited deal to "deepen economic and political ties with the European Union" through freer trade. Last year, then-President Viktor Yanukovych, who has been denounced as a "Kremlin puppet," refused to sign this agreement. His corrupt, pro-Russian administrative actions led to widespread pro-Western protests against him, and ultimately a revolution.

Russia itself is on the brink of recession due to its war, says a former Kremlin finance minister. Crediting sanctions from the U.S. and E.U., The Christian Science Monitor reports that today "Russia's currency dropped to an all-time low against the dollar."

Russian state-owned media has made a "drastic change" lately by softening its anti-Ukrainian rhetoric, according to the independent Moscow Times. This may be a positive sign of Russia winding down its war.

For its part, the U.S. is also speaking somewhat more softly about Russia. President Barack Obama admitted that Crimea "is gone," and Secretary of State John Kerry last week called upon Moscow to help America fight the Islamic State, which has personally threatened Putin. 

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  1. When I look at that picture I always think of this.

    Putin: Can you you keep a secret?
    Obama: Yes.
    Putin: So can I.

    1. “That ‘flexibility’ you said you would have after your last election…”

      “Yes?”

      “I want you to bend over.”

  2. Russian state-owned media has made a “drastic change” lately by softening its anti-Ukrainian rhetoric, according to the independent Moscow Times. This may be a positive sign of Russia winding down its war.

    Or a sign that Russia already won the war. After all, the ceasefire negotiated by Putin essentially grants him power over eastern Ukraine, and puts him in a good position vis a vis western Ukraine as a rump state, as well.

    1. This. The cease-fire was agreed to after it became crystal clear the Ukrainians were on their own. Its essentially a surrender.

      For historical context, Google “Sudetenland”. Hint: this is a resting place or, as our jihadi friends call it, a “hudna”.

  3. By contrast, the Ukrainian Parliament loudly ratified a long-awaited deal to “deepen economic and political ties with the European Union” through freer trade.

    That’s one way of putting it. In reality, the deal with the EU would have imposed a heavy regulatory burden on Ukrainian goods plus economic rule from Brussels. Russia offered president Viktor Yanukovych an alternative deal which was sweeter, but the powers that be (the U.S. and the E.U.) sponsored together the coup that deposed the democratically-elected Yanukovych, which threatened to destabilize the buffer zone Russia had with the West plus the potential takeover of Crimea by NATO. In other words, the U.S. and NATO got greedy, Putin acted quickly to avert a potential disaster in Russia’s own backyard and now we have beltwarians blaming Putin (!)

    1. Last year, then-President Viktor Yanukovych, who has been denounced as a “Kremlin puppet,” refused to sign this agreement. His corrupt, pro-Russian administrative actions led to widespread pro-Western protests against him, and ultimately a revolution.

      Wow. “Denounced”. By (who else?) his West-friendly political opponent! And mind you, anytime your administration happens to be pro for something you’re against, ipso facto that administration is “corrupt”. If the case is that Canada turns to be more pro-China, then ipso facto the Canadian government becomes “corrupt” at least in the mind of beltwarian journalists.

      There’s no lost love between me and Vlad, but this kind of manichaean propaganda from beltwarians makes me wonder about their objectivity.

      1. Yeah, the Ukrainian population never thought that Yanukovych was corrupt until them outside agitators got’em all dissatisfied and uppity.

        Imagine the idiocy of choosing affiliation with Europe over the benevolence of Putin’s Russia. Damn fools didn’t know when they had it good; they deserve what they’re getting.

    2. How was closer Ukrainian ties with the west a “potential disaster” in Russia’s back yard, justifying invasion and conquest?

      1. Something, something, NATO, something, Kievian Rus, something, neo-Nazi Ukrainians, something, GAZPROM, something, “near abroad”.

    3. “OldMexican|9.16.14 @ 12:53PM|#

      the powers that be (the U.S. and the E.U.) sponsored together the coup that deposed the democratically-elected Yanukovych

      OM:

      I’ve read that Mearsheimer piece. Twice.

      He blames US/EU ‘support for the opposition’ for the eventual fall of Yanukovych.

      e.g. “the United States had invested more than $5 billion since 1991 to help Ukraine achieve “the future it deserves.” As part of that effort, the U.S. government has bankrolled the National Endowment for Democracy. The nonprofit foundation has funded more than 60 projects aimed at promoting civil society in Ukraine, and the NED’s president, Carl Gershman, has called that country “the biggest prize.” After Yanukovych won Ukraine’s presidential election in February 2010, the NED decided he was undermining its goals, and so it stepped up its efforts to support the opposition and strengthen the country’s democratic institutions.””

      You call this, (aid over 20+ years, support for democratic institutions, etc.)… “Sponsoring a coup”?

      Just to be clear. yes/no.

      or was there a different, specific claim in that piece you were referring to?

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