But, with only 13 days left before the Eastern Partnership Summit in Lithuania, now is not the time to give up. Now is the time for Ukrainians and everyone else interested in a better future for Ukraine to take action.
Everyone should press President Viktor Yanukovych and his ruling Party of Regions through all available channels. Yanukovych must: release imprisoned ex-Prime Minister YuliaTymoshenko now as part of a commitment to end selective justice; adopt a law to curb prosecutorial powers as part of the creation of a fairer criminal justice system; and adopt a law to ensure fair and democratic elections. Simultaneously, Ukrainians should throw themselves at the mercy of EU decision-makers and encourage them to overlook Ukraine’s poor leaders and embrace the best interests of the nation – which lie in Western integration.
Yanukovych has been toying with the EU and his own nation since coming to power. He says he wants a democratic nation integrated with the West, but his actions tell the story of an autocratic leader who wants to monopolize political and economic power. One day, the EU is his No. 1 priority; then another day his prime minister, Mykola Azarov, says Russia is the No. 1 priority.
No matter how much power Yanukovych and Azarov accumulate, however, Ukraine’s 45 million people – and everyone else who supports their aspirations – will have the final say. That means people should write open letters, articles, organize, call members of parliament if you know them, urge influential businesspeople to press the case for the signing of an EU-Ukraine deal.