Alexey Bulavin: the government of war with the West and the East
Ukraine, which is coming to parts, will not withstand more than a three-month siege, which now spreads to regions of the country, which is destructive for the latter. In the current situation, under conditions of the prolonged European recession, the country badly, vitally and immediately needs legitimate government, that is the government not in the role of «acting».
This problem is not new. In fact, leaders of the opposition, first of all Arseniy Yatsenyk, repeat the requirement to approve the new government for two weeks already. The request of the new «technical», nonpolitical government was the key requirement in the agreement, signed by the President, by the opposition and by three ministers for foreign affairs of leading European countries on February 21. In short, the requirement of immediate «technical» government was clearly repeated in the session hall of Verkhovna Rada during the last two days for about hundred times. Yesterday appointments were made.
And I prepared to hear the names of well-known economists, technocrats, managers, free from influence of a party, when I was sobered by… Ruslana. She stated about lack of understanding of the principles of establishment of the new government and its disability. Ruslana wrote in her blog: «It seems that the government of the people’s mistrust is being formed.» In her opinion, again party affiliated populists are being brought to power instead of professionals. In her opinion, the government of technocrats should be created, which will do its work solely in the interests of the state and people of Ukraine, and will not pursue political and party interests or interests of financial groups of influence. The singer claims that after 2 days of work of «one of her colleagues on the position of acting minister» his competence became doubtful. There are also problems with another politician, whose name «arise a number of scandals.»
After the composition of the Cabinet of Ministers was announced, it came to my mind that, in fact, that was the government of war with the West, as well as with the East.
Let’s start with the West. Not only the above-mentioned requirements of the West, but also the recent statements made by Hollande, Merkel, around Obama gathering stated that politicians should not be in the technical government. But only 3 of 15 members of the government are nonpolitical persons, the rest are prominent politicians of high-level, and representatives of ONLY oppositional political parties. Any European democrat will have a question: how the representative of the political force, let it be the ruling force, may work with the greater part of Ukraine, where these political parties gained from 1 up to 5% of the votes? How will eastern regions, which are in opposition to the current power, cooperate with them? I remember, when in the period of the orange power most regions of the south-east and the central part of the country (Kirovograd region, for example) received subventions and subsidies in multiply less volumes than western regions of the country. And Yevpatoriya during the five years received approximately one million (!) UAH for development of the city and resort facilities.
Or how is it possible to hold objective, unbiased, «clean» presidential and then parliamentary elections, when the main economic ruling authority of the country is represented by diversified and very aggressive set of competing political forces? It is known that the party Udar refused to be in the government, because the candidate for the President Klichko will build his campaign criticizing the economic situation, and actions of the government. And it would be awkward and mercilessly to criticize the government, which has representatives of his party.
We remember that during the previous elections in 2010 and 2012, opponents of authorities criticized politically rich government, not mincing their words. And, by the way, it was absolutely fair! However, today they repeat entirely the experience of the «criminal power.» And, I will emphasize for uninitiated people that currently local authorities are being already «intensified» with their party mates, regardless of the fact whether there are specialists among them or not. And we may only imagine the quality of their work. It is very doubtful that in the next few days, when the presidential election campaign will begin, the new party members of the government will refuse to participate in the race of their bosses for the post of the President.
The professionalism of the future government is very doubtful. Just till yesterday, there were appeal from the West and from the East to establish the «temporary», technical government of professionals and technocrats. This very condition will allow world centers of force, global investors (IMF, Russia, and China) to be at least partially sure that their money will not burn in the crucible of political showdown.
Let us not take into consideration the potential of Mr. Yatsenyk for the moment. He demonstrated during his not long political career, that he may work in different professional environment, but, to tell the truth, not for a long time. Now the question is whether Arseniy Yatsenyk will be able to divide the zones of authority and responsibility with the head of the parliament and acting President Turchinov in the framework of the Constitution of 2004. We all remember how in the framework of the similar Constitution (which Yulia Timoshenko sharply opposes now as well) the President and the Prime Minister in 2005 — 2009 had serious fighting, which made a dramatic negative impact on management and growth of economy of Ukraine. In that situation half of governors reported to the Prime Minister and another half to the President. And members of the Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the quote of the President were in opposition to the Prime Minister. It is clear that the orange power failed the economy and development of the country.
Let’s proceed to other candidates. From my point of view, some persons match the notion of «technocrats.» These are vice prime ministers Groysman, Tarasyk, Sych, ministers Kvit, Deshchitsa, Prodan, Musiy, Shlapak, Yarema, and Sheremet. It seems to me, that Maidan made a right choice regarding the candidacy of the chair of the National Bank Kubiv. At least, he has fewer ambitions than his previous colleagues, but he has not less experience than Yatsenyk, Arbuzov etc.
However, not only in my opinion, but according to some of the leaders of Maidan, deputies of Verkhovna Rada, and experts, there are several persons in the new composition of the Government of Ukraine, who may seriously impede or even undermine the work of the government, and will not raise its international authority. First of all it is the Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov. An experienced politician, and far from being a poor man, Avakov has never dealt seriously with the structure, mechanisms, special features of the work of the system of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. And as far as I know, he did not serve in the army. It is not surprising that some of his colleagues reacted to such an appointment without understanding. Arsen Avakov immediately had conflicts on his new post with the apparat, misunderstanding of specific character of the work of the police service. There is an impression that his appointment in the difficult period of confrontation of the new force and the previous authorities was rather emotional than rational. At this very moment the acute conflict arose between Kharkov authorities with recently appointed leaders of Verkhovna Rada, and it is well known that Avakov is a long-standing opponent of Dobkin. However, opponents will say that there is a precedent, when the civil person Yuriy Lutsenko was appointed the minister of the Internal Affairs. If not to discuss various scandalous and non-professional events and deeds of Yuriy Lutsenko, he at least served in the army for two years and knew army regulations. Perhaps, Avakov promised to learn while his appointment. But is it needed in such a field, more over in such a difficult acute political situation?
Appointment of Ludmila Denisova the minister of social policy seems poor as well. Having occupied this post during one period, she has left a deep negative trace as an official of such a sphere. By the way she was also criticized by the Prime Minister Timoshenko. Residents of the Crimea, who worked with her in one system, mention her work without delight. Probably, she appeared in the list of the new government because of not a large circle of professionals of the former opposition, and first of all of Batkivshchyna. We should bear in mind that cuts of budget of Ukraine will take place at the expense of social items.
The people’s assembly of Maidan for clear reasons considered that Andrey Parubiy will be the best candidate for the post of the Secretary of the Council of the National Security and Defence (SNBO). Let’s see if there is any reason to support such a choice? It is true that Andrey Parubiy worked very selflessly on Maidan for more than three months. Moreover, his decisive actions were known in the past as well. In particular, he was charged by the Prosecutor Generals’ Office according to the criminal article, when he tried to disrupt voting in the session hall of Verkhovna Rada and threw a smoke box. Other «decisive pranks» ended well for him as well. But how do these actions reinforce his candidacy for a very specific position of the Secretary of SNBO? I am sure that in his work of the high-rank official he will need not his motoric, brave, but analytical and intellectual qualities, knowledge not only of the international situation but also of internal political movements, motives, security systems etc. to a nicety. Let’s try to analyze if Parubiy will be able to compete with the previous secretaries? I will remind the names of some of them: Gorbulin, Radchenko, Marchuk, Gayduk, Plyshch, and Klyuyev. Take a look at the record of service of these well-known politicians. Now a few lines from Wikipedia about Parubiy: he is a political expert, the deputy of the regional council, the creator of a well-known nationalist organization the Patriot of Ukraine, one of the organizers of the Social and National Party of Ukraine together with Oleg Tyagnibok, a member of the group of parties Nasha Ukraina and the deputy representing Nasha Ukraina — Self Defense. Will this luggage be enough and what is more important will he have enough knowledge, understanding of political and economic situation in the world and in Ukraine, understanding of the structure of the national security of Ukraine? And, what is more important, whether his authority be enough to manage (direct) work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Security Service of Ukraine, the Ministry for Emergency Situations and government. Time will show. But already today, speaking at the session of Verkhovna Rada as a candidate, it seemed to me, that Parubiy failed to see to the full extent ways out of the political crisis, again accusing Russia, but not national politicians in worsening of the situation. I believe that a speech of this official on his position cannot be similar to the speech of the politician of the nationalist sense, but rather akin to the speech of a diplomat, because after his appointment to the post diplomats and politicians of foreign countries will have to consider his words and the world media will have to cite him.
Known as one of the leaders of Automaidan, Andrey Bulatov was nominated for the position of the Minister for Family, Youth and Sports Issues. And today it is very difficult to say to what extent he will be able to raise and develop this industry. People do not know much about him. The public know nothing about him except his hobby (cars), though his colleagues from Maidan know something more. Being aware of the huge volume of work that is carried out by the ministry, I may say that I have doubts. See yourself, among other responsibilities, it is the responsibility of the Minister to carry out all the necessary work and to be responsible for preparation of athletes, selection of teams in different kinds of sports and results of participation of the national team in the Olympic games, and this is one of the dozens of important areas of life of the state. You will agree that it is much more difficult than Automaidan. And today Verkhovna Rada may lay a serious mine under the future processes of development of sports, youth and family, by appointing the leader of this industry, who is not a professional.
Yevgeniy Nishchuk is, in fact, not a professional as well. Having undoubted merits at Euromaidan, he, according to experts, has no merits in the Ukrainian cultural sphere. He did not manage (or maybe he did not want) to implement innovations in the sphere of management of Ukrainian culture. Many cultural figures think that it would be important for the new minister to know the European experience of development of culture and cultural policy, to have the reputation of the honest manager, which, according to a number of colleagues, Nishchuk did not win.
Not analyzing in details the head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), I want to remind that several years ago Mr. Nalivaychenko contrary to all Ukrainian laws and regulations, remained the acting head of SBU and became famous for the fact that he invited a dear guest (the ambassador of the USA in Ukraine) to the graduation of the Academy of SBU, which is considered to be unheard-of in the world practice. To be more precise one cannot find another such fact in the history of the mankind! Probably, that is why during the first days of the work of the new head he complained about the fact that the heads of the SBU, including in the regions do not answer his telephone calls and do not report to him.
Serious doubts were caused by the appointment of the former regional leader of the party Rodina, then Front Zmin, and then Batkivshchyna Maxim Burbaka for the post of the Minister of infrastructure. And I would like to wish him success in this work. However, I think that analyzing this candidate people should know that a 38-year-old lawyer and activist will have to manage the work of aviation, road, rail, sea and river, and urban electrical transport; to organize the work in the sphere of airspace of Ukraine, tourism, work of resorts, subway, road facilities, international sports events, traffic safety, navigation and hydrographic support of shipping, commercial shipping. I will remind that his predecessor Boris Kolesnikov organized and was responsible for the final of the championship Euro — 2012.
Nomination of Igor Mokhnik, who worked in the system of education as a construction superintendent, an engineer in the scientific and research institute, for the post of the Minister for Environment was unexpected for Maidan as well as for deputies. We can understand that interests of the party and obligations to its activists forced to nominate him. But what about the requirement of the West about the unaffiliated government of «technocrats»? I had approximately the same feeling after appointment of the eminent leader of Svoboda Shvayka, who is a deeply urban resident, the minister for agrarian policy. Probably, it is also a tribute to the party discipline.
However, another thing also strikes my eye. The new government should be «the new government of Lvov.» So 7 out of 17 persons of the new Ukrainian management are in any case connected with Lvov, and 4 more are connected with western Ukraine. And this is another problem with which management of the economy of the country will face. The problem, of course, is not in the place of birth and residence of the minister, but in the fact that he will not be able to go immediately into the way of life, special characteristics, location of productive forces, special features and issues in the real sector, because previously this was the politically hostile to him territory. It means that already during formation of the government «of the national unity» a large risk of imbalances in the economy and investment policy and of economic separatism is laid. In so far as interests of the south-east and the center of Ukraine are practically not represented in the new Cabinet of Ministers.
Of course, Verkhovna Rada was in a difficult situation. The country cannot live without the government. All personnel decisions were made hastily (during one night), under a serious pressure of Maidan. And there are mistakes already on the start (for example, Tarasyk stated that he was not going to be the Vice-Prime Minister for the European integration), and what will we have on the finish: in six months or one year? Not once or twice on Wednesday, introducing the composition of the democratic government to Maidan, leaders of the opposition: Turchinov and Yatsenyk appealed to the conscience of «the heavenly hundred,» swore by their memory. Does this hasty campaign meet expectations of people?
Maidan fairly demanded preliminary disclosure of personal files of officials, before establishment of the government. But could all present in the new Cabinet of Ministers officials go through it? I am not sure.
To tell the truth, the sword of Damocles will always threaten this Cabinet of Ministers, making it weak, doubtful, decreasing the rating of the country, cutting the opportunity of advantageous loans. On the one hand, the composition of the Cabinet of Ministers was suggested by a people’s assembly, the composition of which Turchinov once proposed to approve by ear. And during the nomination of the current composition of the government one could often hear whistling on Maidan. Secondly, the Constitution of 2004, which was renewed not in full accordance with the law and the regulations of Verkhovna Rada, makes the current composition of the parliament non-legitimate, as well as its decisions, which may be canceled any time. By the way, foreign politicians and experts reminded exactly about this fact in recent days, explaining their «indecision» in providing Ukraine multibillion loans and assistance.