A recent op-ed in the New York Times by Samuel Charap and
Keith Charden (“Kiev isn’t ready for Europe”, December 20, 2013) should be
taken seriously by those who may disagree with it. At least part of its content
shows valid observations about Ukrainian economics and politics, but there is
room for disagreement with that article’s analysis, logic, and conclusions.
After noting Ukraine president’s backing away from an
association agreement with the European Union and his signing of a range of
economic agreements with Russia, an apparently true statement is made that
seems to be part of a syllogism: “The European and American policy toward
Ukraine — urging it to pursue the path of reforms that
proved so successful in Central Europe
— has reached an impasse”. But
the next sentence sounds like an illogical conclusion or an opinion that is
unsustainable: “This failure stems from a constant misreading of Ukraine by the
The authors then proceed with what they apparently see as
correct reading: “No Ukrainian government since independence has taken the
necessary steps to reform the country’s economy and political system.
Wealth — generated by graft, by skimming profits off
natural gas imported from Russia, and by seizure of profitable assets — still
lies predominantly in the hands of
government officials, their families, and their oligarchic friends,,,,”.