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MOSCOW, January 29. /ITAR-TASS/. Tuesday’s extraordinary session of the Ukrainian parliament, Verkhovna Rada, was held in a bid to find a compromise between the ruling authorities and the opposition as well as to put an end to mass disorders in Ukraine. Protesters, however, were eventually dissatisfied with the results of the session. The crisis lingers.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich accepted on Tuesday Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov’s resignation. The parliament also revoked a number of laws from the package of laws passed on January 16, which in particular stipulated harsher penalties for public order violations. It was this package of laws that incited protesters to clash with law enforcers and instigated them to seize administrative buildings in Kiev as well as in dozens of other cities in the country’s central and western regions.
Opposition leaders called Tuesday’s concessions of the ruling authorities as the first, but incomplete, step towards the solution of the crisis. Oppositionists put forward a full list of demands, which include the amnesty for protesters, early parliamentary and presidential elections, formation of a new Central Election Commission and return to the 2004 Constitution that will turn Ukraine into a parliamentary-presidential republic.
Boris Makarenko, a deputy head of the Center for Political Technologies said in an interview with Itar-Tass that “besides the support from the west [of Ukraine], the opposition’s rigid stance in talks with the authorities can be also explained by the scale of protests.”
“The opposition has felt itself as a major force. The authorities, too, have almost acknowledged the opposition as a major actor by showing that they had to take the opposition’s demands into account,” Makarenko said.
“Viktor Yanukovich is forced to concede to protesters, as he in fact became the president only of a half of Ukraine,” Makarenko said. “He abruptly imposed on Ukraine an agenda of rejecting integration with the European Union, although he had been personally promoting this issue for several years.”
He added that “by having amended the Constitution of Ukraine, Yanukovich turned the country into a presidential republic and wiped out his political opponent Yulia Timoshenko, thus provoking discontent among her supporters.”
“As a result, Yanukovich got on the wrong side of half of the Ukrainian society and the political elite,” the political scientist said.
“The opposition keeps pressing Yanukovich for resignation and early presidential election based on the rules of political struggle. If opposition leaders are content with the parliament’s dissolution and revocation of January 16 repressive laws, then Yanukovich, in their opinion, will take the situation back under his control through trivial measures,” Makarov said.
Fyodor Lukyanov, the chairman of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, says the cause of the current crisis in Ukraine is far more fundamental than just personal likes and dislikes.
“The times of the oligarchic republic in Ukraine are gone. Instead of taking care of national development the Ukrainian establishment has attempted to play on a dilemma of whether to join Russia or the European Union, looking for somebody to take responsibility for the future of their country,” Lukyanov said in an interview with Itar-Tass.
In his opinion “neither former nor the current presidents of Ukraine addressed the nation with a sovereign strategy of development, but confined themselves milking the industrial potential that has survived in the east of the country since the times of the Soviet Union, as well as the transit location of the country.”
“The victory of one of the currently conflicting sides will not be the end to the crisis. If the president wins, he will be solely busy with surviving politically, and his survival will be under boycott conditions coming from the west [of Ukraine]. If the opposition wins, chaos and scuffle for the leadership will continue,” he said.
“The only positive scenario under the current developments is to form a coalition government on compromised conditions in order to cool down the heated phase of the crisis. But strategically such a step will not resolve the problem of Ukraine, if the country fails to find an optimal model for future development,” Lukyanov said.
ITAR-TASS may not share the opinions of its contributors