These days, Ukraine marks the anniversary of the start of two revolutions, which were an attempt to escape from Russia to Europe. Will a third rebellion be necessary for a European choice? Because the oligarch and the influential parliamentarian standing next to the comedian president are corrupting Ukraine to Russia.
November 22, 2004 in Ukraine began bloodless protests, known as the Orange Revolution. Protesters supported pro-European presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko and opposed election fraud in favor of pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych. Yushchenko won, but the Ukrainians failed to fulfill their dream. Russia bound Ukraine with a gas treaty.
The second attempt in 2013-2014 was more decisive. The protests were called Euromaidan. They arose after President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign the Association Agreement with the EU. The capital of Ukraine was clogged with barricades and shrouded in smoke. The protesters won. Ukraine has become part of Europe. The price of this is more than a hundred dead demonstrators and 10 thousand dead in the annexed by Russia Donbass.
Ukraine came under the protectorate of Russia in the 17th century. Fully became part of the Russian Empire in the XVIII century. After the collapse of the Russian Empire on November 20, 1917, the autonomous Ukrainian People’s Republic was proclaimed, but it could not resist the onslaught of the Russian Communists and became part of the Soviet Union until 1991.
Russia considers Ukraine its property. And it reacts very painfully to the desire of Ukrainians to become part of Europe. Russian propagandists are playing on the doubts of Ukrainians that Europe will not accept them in their union and will not accept them in NATO. Although Europe has repeatedly proved that it is ready to sacrifice its economic interests for the sake of supporting Ukraine.
In the spring of 2014, after Russia, contrary to warnings, completed the annexation of the Ukrainian Crimea and began active support for pro-Russian separatists in the Donbas, the European Union, together with the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, introduced the first package of sanctions against the Russian Federation. Since then, economic sanctions have been tightened several times. Russia in 2014 was expelled from the G8. Personal sanctions were imposed against its political leaders. All this was done to support Ukraine. At the same time, from 2014 to the present, Ukraine received about 16 billion euros of Western aid, mainly from European countries and the European Union.
Europe as openly demonstrates its support for Ukraine. But in Ukraine there are those who are unhappy that the country has not yet been accepted into the ranks of the European Union and NATO. They do not want to patiently approach the European standards of public administration, protection of property rights and the fight against corruption. And they listen to Russian propaganda that Ukraine will never become part of Europe.
The same words were uttered by the shocking Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky. In an interview with The New York Times, he said that the European Union and NATO would never accept Ukraine, so it would be better to accept reality and not even try to fight there. He also added that Ukraine should restore relations with Russia.
“In 5-10 years, the shedding of blood in the fight against the separatists will be forgotten,” he said.
Sometimes it seems that this businessman wants to help Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to achieve peace with Vladimir Putin. Zelensky, a former comedian, spoke on the popular TV channel owned by Kolomoisky. They have known each other for a long time.
But we see the steps of other Ukrainian politicians, for example, the deputy of the presidential party “Servant of the People” Andriy Gerus, whom the media noticed in Kolomoysky’s loyalty. And these steps look like the help is not for Zelensky, but for Putin.
The head of the parliament’s energy committee, Andrei Gerus, is trying to provide Putin with an excellent service, demonstrating to Europe economic cooperation with Russia, which raises doubts as to whether sanctions should continue if Ukraine and Russia are no longer enemies and have a mutually beneficial business.
We are talking about the massive import of electricity from the Russian Federation (4.5 million kWh per day in October and 12 million kWh in November), which became possible after the adoption by the Ukrainian parliament of bill No. 1084 and the amendment proposed by this deputy.
In order to receive electricity from Russia, Ukraine stops its generating enterprises (including state-owned Energoatom and Ukrhydroenergo). This is absurd, but it is.
Ukrainian politicians and economic experts draw attention to the fact that the import of Russian electricity not only damages the Ukrainian energy sector, but also threatens Ukraine’s European integration. The country should join the Unified European Energy System in 2023. But a year earlier, the Ukrainian energy system should start working completely autonomously.
It is noteworthy that parliamentarian Gerus, being the representative of President Zelensky in the government, asked to stop the process of implementing the Ukraine-EU energy bridge project. Moreover, the import of electricity from Russia, from the point of view of Gerus, does not pose a threat to the energy security of Ukraine.
How does President Vladimir Zelensky feel about this? In words, he declares that the definition of the state’s foreign policy is his prerogative.
“I would like me, as president, to think about international relations and the vector of Ukraine,” Zelensky said in response to a journalist’s question regarding “turning to Russia.”
But in practice, he does not prevent the deputy of his party from acting in the interests of Russia.
Obviously, President Zelensky became a hostage to the game of Gerus and, most importantly, the businessman who stands behind him. He risks losing a historic chance for Ukraine to become part of Europe if he agrees to flirt with Russia in the interests of businessmen who benefit from electricity imports from Russia.
Europe is ready to accept Ukraine, whose people have twice proved by their protest actions that they do not want to remain under the protectorate of Russia. We are confused only by the lack of firm guarantees on the part of the Ukrainian authorities that the country will not return to Russia under pressure from oligarchs close to it. Zelensky says that he makes decisions on his own, but in practice he does not oppose attempts to re-deploy Ukraine to Russia. Does the Ukrainian people need to go to protests again in order to defend the European choice?