Location Ukraine Ukraine

West changes attitude to Ukrainian Poroshenko

In Ukraine, the presidential election is coming. Opponents of the Kiev regime are still unable to participate in them, but for those who recognize the government that controls most of Ukraine, there is some semblance of democracy. The incumbent president Poroshenko is fighting for his re-election and is facing stiff competition. Recently, sociologists have shown that Tymoshenko and Zelensky are ahead of him in popularity.

Interest from the West in Ukrainian presidential elections has increased. This is due to the real possibility of losing Poroshenko. Foreign diplomats and journalists have already met with Vladimir Zelensky, while a couple of months ago no one seriously took him as candidate No. 1. Yulia Tymoshenko, who sees Americans almost as often as Poroshenko does, is not far behind.

At the same time, in the Western press, critical publications about Poroshenko appeared. The critics were joined by the US Ambassador to Ukraine Mary Jovanovic. On March 5, she summed up the five years after Euromaidan and named the main problems of Ukraine. Almost all of them concerned Petro Poroshenko and the structures under his control, although Jovanovic did not state out loud the name of the current president.

In particular, she criticized the abolition of the criminal article for illegal enrichment, which, in the opinion of the United States, is a serious digression in the fight against corruption in Ukraine. The ambassador suggested that the Ukrainian authorities return the article back to the Criminal Code, and the constitutional judges to cancel the mandatory declaration of income of anti-corruption activists. Jovanovic also concluded that judicial reform is ineffective.

In addition, the ambassador mentioned the scandal in the “Ukroboronprom”, which is connected in Poroshenko’s friend Oleg Gladkovsky. According to her, “turning a blind eye to corruption in the defense sector means pulling food, medical aid and weapons out of the hands of the brave warriors of Ukraine.” Jovanovic said that the investigation of this case must be carried out as much as possible. ”

Jovanovic also touched on the topic of future elections and manipulations in this area. According to her, people who buy votes should be punished, as well as those who pay them for their votes. Last time, Poroshenko’s team is accused of this.

The ambassador also noted problems with freedom of speech in Ukraine. “We are concerned about reports of pressure on independent journalists. Intimidation and harassment should not take place in modern democracy. Threats to independent journalism undermine the struggle of the Ukrainian people against corruption,” she said.

Ukrainian observers saw in the words of the ambassador a violation of the sovereignty of Ukraine and signs of disappointment of the USA in Poroshenko.

The opposition Democratic Party does not affect the current state policy, so it can afford Poroshenko’s more outspoken criticism than the current ambassador. “The latest scandal associated with accusations of mass speculation in the war with Russia, backed by Ukrainians with great connections, proves the need for a new leader in the upcoming presidential election,” wrote the Atlantic Council analytical center on March 1. Ukraine will never become part of the European Union until it corrects its laws, and Poroshenko stands in the way of this process. ” According to the “Council”, Poroshenko must leave politics.

A supporter of Euromaidan, Dmitry Spivak, noted on March 12 that similar sentiments are spreading in European governments. “All of Europe is gradually cooled towards Kiev and does not want to deal with our political get-together, steeped in unprecedented corruption. This became especially obvious after the publication of materials on looting in the defense sphere … ”

At the same time, the ISW analytical center still demonstrates Poroshenko’s support. ISW itself is funded by major defense campaigns and works closely with the Pentagon. “Most of the leading presidential candidates are to some extent amenable to the Kremlin. The current president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, is the candidate most inclined towards the West. ” But corruption and Russia are hindering this pro-Western policy: “His popular support has declined because of its inability to carry out key anti-corruption reforms, as well as because of the long disinformation campaign on the part of Russia.”

ISW analysts conclude: “Ukrainian West-oriented political reformists are active and still have a chance to make progress in the Ukrainian parliamentary elections of 2019. The US must attract and support these reformists, who are facing pressure in the run-up to both elections, to oppose Russia. ”

In general, it is obvious that the West rethink attitudes towards Poroshenko. If earlier he was perceived as “ours son of a bitch”, who can be forgiven for certain corruption sins in exchange for geopolitical loyalty, now, against the background of recent corruption scandals, assessments have become tougher. But despite the fact that Western political elites are increasingly critical of Poroshenko, they are not yet ready to completely abandon his support.

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