Archive for March 2nd, 2012

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Diplomatic lunacy? What is Yanukovych doing?

March 2, 2012

There are times in this blog where government policy and action are recognised as being good, there are times in this blog where government policy and action are recognised as being bad, both are usually accompanied by a recognition of completely and utterly ineffective implementation making no real changes despite what it says on paper.

Usually, even a dullard like me can understand the reasoning behind any good, bad or indifferent policy and can usually predict which policy has the 1 in 100 chance of being effectively implemented and noticed by the public.

One of the few surprises about the current government’s actions since 2010 has been the speed and willingness to complete the DCFTA and AA negotiations with the EU started years before by their predecessors.

The key man in all of that during the past 2 years has been First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Kliuyev,  On good authority do I have it that he was well thought of and respected by his EU counterparts and was seen as being head and shoulders above most of the dross that occupy the RADA when it came to ability.

In short, the fact that the matter of the extremely difficult and technical DCFTA and AA negotiations are completed at all is very much a testament to his ability.  Really I should go further.  It is also testament to the amount of trust the EU and Ukraine put in him personally and his personality being one that the EU could rub along with quite well.

There is much to be said for personality and mutual trust in any negotiations, regardless of who the negotiator is negotiating for.

So we are at a point where the complex negotiations for the DCFTA and AA are completed and very shortly are likely to be initialed to bring the documents to a negotiated close (even if not formally signed and a long way from being ratified).  Relations between the EU and Ukraine have become somewhat frosty over selective prosecutions and poor standards in the due process of the rule of law.

As a president, what do you do with Mr Kliuyev who remains a key interlocutor with the EU having spent the best part of 2 years in almost permanent negotiations and is on good personal terms with the most influential within the EU even though the negotiations are now complete?  When you need a trusted face in a position of power for the EU to natter to despite domestic circumstances poisoning the EU/Ukrainian chalice, the last thing that comes to mind is sack Mr Kliuyev.

So what has happened? – Indeed, quite unbelievably, Mr Kliuyev has been removed!

Now it maybe that Mr Kliuyev has said or done something particularly naughty that has incurred the wrath of the president (or those vested interests that sit behind him in the shadows) of which we are not aware, however it would have to be something of incredible significants to remove your tried and tested point man for the EU.

Alternatively this action may just be a completely unfathomable mental apparition caused by the failure to take, or take sufficient, prescription drugs.  In the absence of any real explanation I can find, I am left only with the word – bewildered.

It surely cannot be an action in response to the EU Ambassador Mr Teixeira’s comments at a business lunch where here stated that the president had failed to implement the changes to the business environment he had promised,  a statement that caused Ukraine to state “The public statements of the EU ambassador to Ukraine Jose Manuel Pinto Teixeira … do not correspond to the traditions of international relations in diplomacy.  The issue is not just the tone of ambassador Teixeira’s remarks, but the fact that a person sent to Ukraine as a diplomat … is trying to get involved in the political process.”

Whilst Ukraine summonsed Mr Teixeira to explain those comments, it has not sought to remove him from Ukraine (and there is little point as his tenure is over very shortly anyway).  That said, throwing him out for making those comments would have provided a very unpleasant appearance of Belarus in the current climate which no doubt Ukraine would not want.

So I am at a loss as to why Mr Kliuyev has been dismissed from his role by the president when he was still a key figure in EU/Ukrainian relations.  In the absence of any reasoning in the public sphere, it can only go down as a truly bizarre thing to do, unless he has been given another fundamentally difficult task which he is deemed capable of taking on just as successfully.

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