The bargain offered by the West is a good one. Yanukovych and imprisoned ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko should take it, if they both care as much for Ukraine’s future as they proclaim. The deal, as outlined in public, is to allow Tymoshenko to seek medical treatment in Germany and have the criminal cases closed against her.
Granted, Yanukovych would most likely not allow her back into Ukraine before the 2015 presidential election, if ever. Her release is one of three conditions the EU has set for the deal: an end to selective justice and the general prosecutor’s excessive powers, as well electoral reforms to ensure democratic contests. The EU should not compromise.
The EU and Russia are engaged in an intense tug-of-war over Ukraine, with Russia threatening to punish Ukraine with trade sanctions and import duties, as well as encourage separatist Ukrainian sympathies. These moves are backfiring, as multimillionaire businessman Petro Poroshenko pointed out to the Kremlin’s point man, Sergey Glaziev, in one of the most dramatic exchanges at the Sept. 19-22 Yalta European Strategy forum. Support for Ukraine’s integration with the European Union is now at more than 50 percent of Ukrainians, with only 30 percent against, Poroshenko said, citing recent polls. Those opposed are older and less educated.