Well dear readers, the announcement of charges against Ms Tymoshenko and the protests in Minsk grabbed the headlines over the past few days. the result of both investigation into Tymoshenko resulting in a formal charge is not a surprise and neither was the result of the Belarussian election result.
Forgetting the Tymoshenko situation for now, and judging by her own words, she has probably done what she was accused of in contravention of the contract with the Government of Japan, how does Ukraine react to the re-election of Mr Lukashenko to the position of President in Belarus?
It seems according to OSCE the election was rigged, however, it also seems that even if they hadn’t been, it seems quite likely that Mr Lukashenko would have won anyway, even on a level playing field, although without such an overwhelming poll result.
It is unlikely that Ukraine will condemn the Belarussian outcome as it is a direct neighbour with whom Ukraine will wish to keep cordial relations with during its European integration program. Causing issues with Belarus will not only be a distraction but also hinder the European integration process if the EU decides not to make too much of an issue about the OSCE report on the elections in Belarus.
The reaction of the EU will quite possibly be mirrored by Ukraine if it is somewhat “tempered” or there will be no official reaction at all from Ukraine if it is more “provocative”.
Thus far, Ukraine will probably be relatively happy with the noises coming from the EU.
Ms Ashton said the violence was “regrettable … unacceptable” and noted that the EU’s “policy of critical engagement, through which the EU has offered a deepening relationship with Belarus … is conditional on respect for the principles of democracy, the rule of law and human rights.” She did not call for the release of prisoners or decline to recognise the election result, however.
Quite a mild response by political standards and one which will not rock the geopolitical boat for the EU nations (and Ukraine) boarding with Belarus.
It will be interesting to watch this unfold.