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MOSCOW, December 03. /ITAR-TASS World Service/. Moscow-based newspapers continue to keep a close watch on events in Ukraine following the dispersal of protesters supporting European integration.
Euro Maidan 2013, a rally in support of European integration in Kiev’s central square, became slightly less revolutionary and slightly more political, the Kommersant business daily reported. Thousands of protesters continue to picket governmental buildings, but the centre of confrontation moved to governmental offices. On Tuesday, Ukraine’s parliament will consider the cabinet’s resignation.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich would support a decision to be taken by a majority of parliamentarians, the daily wrote. “The future of the cabinet finally depends on the head of state,” Kommersant reported. “If he gives his tacit consent to a no-confidence vote, not only undecided, but also some deputies from the Party of Regions may vote for the government’s resignation.”
However, such an option is the two-edge sword, the daily believes. On the one hand, Yanukovich will get an opportunity to lay responsibility for unpopular decisions, such as rejection to sign an association agreement with the EU and dispersal of protesters on Kiev’s central square Maidan Nezalezhnosti, on the prime minister and his team. On the other hand, this is the moment of truth for the president. Ukrainians wait how he will act in a critical situation — whether he demonstrates his readiness to take the heat and offer resolute resistance to the opposition or chooses the path of concessions, sacrificing members of his team.
The daily believes that the second scenario will become the opposition’s victory, but it is unlikely to satisfy it in full. On Monday, the leader of Udar party (Punch), boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, said the cabinet’s resignation will be not enough for resolving Ukraine’s political crisis. The country needs a full reset of the system of state power.
Moreover, Viktor Yanukovich’s decision to sacrifice the prime minister would be tantamount to capitulation, experts interviewed by the daily said. In this case political opponents, regional leaders, law enforcers and ordinary citizens will feel the president’s weakness and will start to regard him as “a lame duck.” This will deprive Yanukovich and his Party of Regions of any chances to win the next election that in any case will be most probably early, Kommersant writes.
A diplomatic source told Nezavisimaya Gazeta that on Monday Ukraine tried to make all talks in a three-party format with Russia’s participation. The EU did not accept such a proposal, as it considered that Russia had influenced the Ukrainian authorities’ decision, what finally caused the crisis.
The EU and Russia had already exchanged opinions, an expert at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, Vladimir Gorbach, was quoted by Nezavisimaya Gazeta as saying. “I do not think that they have discussed what to do with Ukraine,” he said. “But I suppose that both Brussels and Moscow have come to a conclusion that no business should be done with Yanukovich, he is an unreliable partner. It is necessary to realize that the Ukrainian president has already been isolated. It is no coincidence that we do not see him, not hear him and not know where he is.”
Whatever decisions the president would take, people in the street would not fulfill them, as he stopped being legitimate for them, the expert said.
Another news item of Kommersant focuses on Russian citizens’ attitude to Ukraine. It is found out that many Russian continue to consider Ukraine not such a friendly country for Russia.
A survey by Russian Public Opinion Fund demonstrates that 45% of respondents believe that Russia’s relations with Belarus are the friendliest ones among other CIS member-states. Another 39% believe it is Kazakhstan and 13% of those polled say it is Armenia. A mere 12% of the respondents believe that Russia’s relations with Ukraine are the closest ones in the post-Soviet space.
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