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Has Yanukovitch denied the recognition?04.03.2010 | 09:05
The elected President of Ukraine Victor Yanukovitch has stated that the possibility of recognizing the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is not on the agenda so far. He explained his position by non-acceptance of the double-standard policy, which most negatively affects the territories with the frozen conflicts. What does Yanukovitch's statement mean from the standpoint of Ukraine's future policy line and the prospects of cooperation between Kiev and Moscow? The question was discussed by GeorgiaTimes and Russian political analysts.
Not so long ago, Victor Yanukovitch made it clear that now Kiev is considering the issue of recognizing the young Transcaucasian republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The president underlined that he was against the double-standard policy. "When the issue of the independence of Kosovo was being solved I said that those were double standards in respect of Serbia and they would inevitably affect the rest of the territories with the frozen conflicts in a most negative way", - Yanukovitch believes.
According to the president, the United Nations (UN) organization should work out general criteria in the issue concerning the status of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia and Kosovo. "They should decide upon the general rules once and forever", - he added.
GeorgiaTimes correspondent asked the Russian political analysts about the essence of Yanukovitch's statement from the point of view of Ukraine's further policy line and the prospects of cooperation between Kiev and Moscow.
Eugeniy Minchenko, Director of International Institute of Political Expertise.
I do not think anything terrible has happened. One should understand Ukraine's domestic environment. Firstly, there are rather serious grounds to worry about the territorial integrity of Ukraine itself. It would be enough to remember several enclaves, which theoretically, under certain conditions, may claim this or that form of autonomy, or even independence. In the first instance, it is Ruthenian Transcarpathia, Galichina and the Crimea. One must not forget that, for example, Rumania has got certain territorial claims on Ukraine. That is why, it is rather a problem for a country that has got potential difficulties with its territorial integrity to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
By the way, the recognition of the republics on the part of Ukraine was possible some time ago under certain conditions. For example, if Saakashvili had kept the line of supporting Timoshenko before the second round of elections and the story with the so-called observers had continued, Yanukovitch would have probably agreed to recognize the republics against such emotional background. However, Saakashvili stopped at the right moment.
Maxim Grigoriev, Director of Democracy Problems Research Foundation
Recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent countries right after the election of Yanukovitch would have definitely indicated a pro-Russian position of the new president. From the political point of view, this position is rather complicated for him at the moment. I believe Yanukovitch will come back to this issue at some other time.
Can one say that this is an offer of Yushchenko's policy?
No. The point is that Yushchenko was planning to recognize Kosovo. For some reason, a number of his associates believe that if this autonomy is recognized Ukraine will be admitted to NATO. One should think that Yanukovitch's policy line will be more balanced and will be aimed at building harmonious relations both with Russia and European Union, and that it will greatly differ from Yushchenko's policy that was basing upon an anti-Russian vector. At present, Kiev is reckoning upon a strategic union with Brussels and Moscow and, perhaps, some other post-Soviet countries. However, there is nothing in common with Belarus' politics here. This is another concept, so long as Yanukovitch does not use geopolitical blackmail.
One should not say that this is the continuation of Yushchenko's policy. The current situation is that now Yanukovitch has got to demonstrate the remoteness of Ukraine's interests both to Russia and the West. That is why the actions he undertakes are so far purely symbolic.
Will the statement of non-recognition lead to any problems in Ukraine's relationship with Russia?