Friday, November 04, 2005

Yekhanurov and Lukashenka

Just some thoughts that I am wondering about these days, as I catch up on internet reading and the news about Ukraine (funny that while in Ukraine working on the doc just now, I was too busy to pay much attention to details about current events):

Is the new but hitherto rather weak-on-OR-promises Yushchenko-Yekhanurov team taking up the old hard line on a couple of things?

1) They said no more reprivatizations, but there are murmurings of that list of 70 once again after the success of the Kryvorizhstal process. . .

2) Tough talk on Russia from Yekhanurov: i. e., his suggestion that Russia would, if it entered the WTO first, have greater power to force Ukraine into an even greater neocolonial situation vis-a-vis Russia through economic means; see RFE (Radio Free Europe) articles here and here . . .

(But by-the-way, don't think I am a huge fan of Ukraine joining the WTO. The WTO is a deeply flawed institution in need of reform, away from a neoliberal, free-trade institution to a neo-social democratic, fair-trade one. It is the target of a serious challenge by a large and effective global movement struggling for just such a transformation; i.e., the WTO is the target of a struggle against how it is a mechanism for rigging the world economy for the benefit of mostly the elites of the northern and western hemispheres and for the southern and eastern elites that are their stooges. What this means is that I do support the idea of Ukraine joining it, and as a member, I hope that it will join the bloc of southern hemisphere countries that are struggling for more equitable trade between the south and north and east and west, and that walked out of the Cancun ministerial meeting in protest of northern and western hemisphere machinations. . .)

3) The post-OR hardline on Lukashenka is back, kind of, via Yekhanurov's comment on Nov. 1. . .see RFE here

I am happy about these harder line stances in general, but then unhappy that also, the post-OR tradition of one minister saying one thing and then another taking it back seems to have also returned, with Tarasyuk insisting that Yekhanurov meant no criticism of Lukashenka. . .RFE here

Of course I am frustrated with someone weakly saying to Lukashenka, "No, we didn't really mean it. . ."

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