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Back to business (for Boris Lozkhin)

June 10, 2016

It has been a few months since any mention of Boris Lozhkin, the relatively low profile Head of the Presidential Administration, has been made.

The above linked entry, aside from a brief glossary of the man himself, dealt with Mr Lozhkin’s stepping out of the media shadow during the protracted theatre of creating a new Cabinet of Ministers and an apparent desire to enter parliamentary politics and leave the Presidential Administration.

An entry into parliamentary politics did not manifest, however the desire to leave the Presidential Administration has not necessarily diminished – and to be fair, having been a man instrumental in bringing experienced external players into the Yatseniuk governance structure, only to seem them removed one by one and then eliminated within the Groisman Cabinet (though acknowledgement should be made of a solid and sensible choice in appointing Ivanna Klympush-Tsyntsadze) – few could be surprised if he has had enough.

If parliamentary politics are no longer upon the agenda for Mr Lozhkin, and the desire to get out of the Presidential Administration remains – back to business beckons.

Why he remains in post now is perhaps not due to his desire to remain, but due to a lack of desire to release him as Head of the Presidential Administration.  Candidates to replace him are few (to be charitable) – or perhaps more accurately replacements appear in the solitary candidate of Vitaliy Kovalchuk (his current Deputy).

It is not that Ukraine is lacking in suitably qualified and experienced citizens capable of becoming Head of the Presidential Administration – or Deputy Head if/when Vitaliy Kovalchuk moves up one.  By way of managerial capabilities and the slight of hand to deftly, diligently and quietly control the parlour games and intrigues within the presidential orbit and its periphery, there is certainly more than one capable candidate.

Борис_Ложкин_и_Петр_Порошенко

This core issue is whoever is to become Head or Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration allowing Mr Lozhkin to leave, has to be first and foremost unquestionably and unshakably loyal to President Poroshenko.  Personal loyalty far exceeds ability for President Poroshenko when it comes to appointing those closest to him – and by extension granting access to the affairs that surround him.

To be blunt, there are not many people that fit that category who are currently at a politically loose end – Makar Pasenyuk perhaps.  They have all already been appointed – somewhere.  Simply reshuffling them will still leave a space that requires filling by somebody the President considers unquestionably and unshakably loyal to him.

Indeed quite when Mr Lozhkin will eventually be freed from the Presidential Administration in the notable absence of unquestionably and unshakably loyal presidential chums sat around doing nothing remains to be seen.

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