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Analysts: Poroshenko’s 12 months at the helm was time of empty promises

May 26, 2015, 15:50 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara

MOSCOW, May 26. /TASS/. Over the first twelve months Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has been in office the country has plunged into a civil war, the economy has collapsed, extreme nationalism has gained the upper hand as the official ideology and the state has in fact been placed under external administration, polled experts have told TASS.

"Poroshenko’s number one election pledge pronounced a year ago was to bring peace to the southeast of Ukraine. In the meantime, combat operations in Donbas have continued up to this day. According to the United Nations, more than 6,200 people there have lost their lives to the hostilities. The war plays into Poroshenko’s hands, because it is an excellent excuse for all of Ukraine’s misfortunes," the deputy director of the CIS Studies Institute, Vladimir Zharikhin, has told TASS.

"The Ukrainian president promised his fellow citizens to restore the economy. In reality, the disruption of cooperation with Russia has sent all basic industries - aircraft-building, space technologies manufacturing and engineering into ruin. Over just one year Ukraine’s state debt has soared to 75 billion dollars. The national currency has been devalued by a factor of three and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development predicts the GDP will shrink by 7.5% by the end of this year," Zharikhin warns.

He believes that the expectations of European choice supporters have fallen through with a crash.

"Over the first year Poroshenko has been in office the conditions for cancelling the visa regimen have merely deteriorated. At the recent Eastern Partnership summit in Riga the Ukrainian president was told in very clear terms that Europe would by no means be happy to see an influx of impoverished and angry migrants. The economic section of Ukraine’s treaty of association with the European Union does not work. Transition to European standards in the economy has not started yet," Zharikhin said.

"Poroshenko has been really successful only in one respect - the ability to retain power by maneuvering between centers of influence in the United States and the European Union. Before, he criticized his ousted predecessor, Viktor Yanukovich, of catering to Russia’s interests. These days Poroshenko himself is in the service of the United States’ interests. Ukraine’s independence has been lost. In fact, the country has been placed under external administration," Zharikhin said.

The chief of the international development directorate at the Institute of Modern Development (INSOR), Sergey Kulik, points to the collapse of the Ukrainian economy and the country’s actual default none of the Western economists had foreseen just a year ago.

"The agreement on Ukraine’s association with the European Union rested upon two pillars: preservation of trading and economic relations between Kiev and Moscow in the capacity of a safety net for the period of the Ukrainian economy’s modernization and heavy direct investments into manufacturing. Instead, Kiev upset the trade balance with Russia, while foreign investments into Ukrainian economy have plummeted. According to the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, even if the war in eastern Ukraine is over an economic recovery will begin no earlier than 2017," Kulik told TASS.

"The West is very angry about Kiev’s attitude to struggle with corruption, which Poroshenko a year ago proclaimed as a cornerstone of his policy. The struggle has not begun in earnest yet, and no institutions or instruments have been created yet. This explains why investors are in no mood of bringing their money to Ukraine," Kulik explained.

And the director of the Institute of Political Studies, Sergey Markov, says Ukraine under Poroshenko has made ultra-nationalism its official state ideology.

"The Ukrainian parliament’s adoption of a special law declaring the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, as heroes has had a stunning effect on many. Ukraine does not investigate war crimes in the zone of what Kiev keeps calling ‘anti-terrorist operation’, or the circumstances of the death of half a hundred people in the fire inside the Trade Unions Building in Odessa last May," said Markov, a member of the Civic Chamber.

"While professing commitment to the rule of law, Poroshenko has maintained an economic blockade of Donbas for a whole year now. And in a recent resolution the Ukrainian parliament canceled the operation of the European Convention on Human Rights for the people of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics. In just one year Ukraine has transformed itself from a democracy into a police state," Markov said.

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