Archive for September 9th, 2014


A consistent liability

September 9, 2014

Yuri Lutsenko has often been mentioned historically in this blog.  So often in fact that linking to previous posts would be impractical.  If you want to know what has been written throughout the annals of time, use the search facility.

Suffice to say, there is little positive to be found, to save those who don’t want to look.

As so to yesterday when Mr Lutsenko, currently a presidential advisor and newly positioned leader of Block Poroshenko, posted on his Facebook page that the USA, France, Italy, Poland and Norway were to send arms to Ukraine – a post that has now disappeared, but not before the USA, Italy, Poland and Norway all had to politely, officially and publicly deny his statement.

France made no comment at the time of writing.

What more can be said than in the above tweets?

A diplomatic disaster that has occurred in public – and unnecessarily so – and not the first to be directly attributable to Mr Lutsenko over the years.

The Kremlin can now target France as the only probable supplier of advanced and precision weaponry to Ukraine – for it is the only nation named by Mr Lutsenko not to make an official denial.  It can be argued of course, that France assisting Ukraine would at least remove the current asymmetrical appearance – though currently suspended – of Mistral warship sales to Russia.  Nevertheless, the Kremlin job was made far easier by forcing public denials rather than it having to rummage around in the diplomatic and espionage boxes to find out who agreed to supply what to Ukraine.  Knowing who, provides a very good idea not only of what, but how much with regard to maximum capacity.

Domestic public confidence and belief in Mr Lutsenko has long since gone – but the western media and public, long petitioned about of Kremlin mendacity and disinformation regarding Ukraine, are now confronted with a Presidential Advisor and leader of his political block making statements that four nations are forced to publicly deny – and leaving the fifth diplomatically livid in all probability.  Not particularly helpful to the Ukrainian cause when trying to combat Kremlin propaganda.

It is possible to go on – but by now any reader gets the picture.  A serious international, public, political and diplomatic faux pas – and one that will raise issues over future confidential dealing with Ukraine, and Mr Lutsenko in particular.

It seems highly unlikely that Mr Lutsenko will resign as either Presidential Advisor or leader of Block Poroshenko – though after causing such public embarrassment on the international stage, any political actor with even a trace of integrity would do so.

Perhaps he feels that with the headlines about Ukraine changing almost by the hour, yesterday’s news will be quickly forgotten – and he is probably right as far as media and media audience attention is concerned – but the nations involved and their diplomatic corps are not the media.  Memories are long and personal relationships matter.

It now falls on President Poroshenko to fire him – or not.  If not, then that sends another unwelcome signal to the Ukrainian electorate and world at large.  Political capital will be spent on a man whom however loyal he has been to previous political leaders when in their employ, has remained a consistent liability to them all.

Simply deleting a widely reported Facebook entry just isn’t good enough.  Not good enough at all.  It is long past time a permanent retirement from political life greeted Mr Lutsenko.

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