By, Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey via Huffington Post
The challenge of Putin as well as ISIS requires an answer beyond avoidance & containment. — MORE — & Highlights from Ambassador Sacirbey’s recent presentation at Florida International University.
Can UN Peacekeepers Bring Ukraine Peace?
By, Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey
Call by Ukraine President Poroshenko for UN Peacekeepers to monitor the new ceasefire in the East testifies to his commitment, his desperation, or both.
The UN is as much stage as platform for diplomatic exchange, & the Kremlin is no longer so keen keeping the curtain up.
NOTE: This blog was written by Ambassador Muhamed (Mo) Sacirbey nearly two years ago (May 10, 2012) and seems a fitting summary for reflection and comparison of dynamic transformations in Eastern Europe.
From the jail cell former Ukraine Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has perhaps had more impact in defining the country’s image than as Government leader a few years earlier. Ukraine’s current Government has had to cancel a major summit of Central & Eastern European leaders because many/most (including my old colleague President Danilo Turk of Slovenia) openly rejected to attend as protest for Ms. Tymoshenko’s treatment. There is a threat that the cloud will rain on Ukraine’s parade in a month as it co-hosts with Poland Europe’s soccer championships, “Euro 2012.” The issue is not just apparent mistreatment of Tymoshenko in jail but the underlying trial and charges which have a smell of Stalinist abuse with all legality frills. Many are also seeing a broader trend through this case: in both methodology and allegiance is Ukraine back firmly in Moscow’s orbit?
Ms. Tymoshenko has been detained, tried and convicted of “Abuse of Office.” It is a catch-all offense left over from Communist times in many former Iron Curtain/Soviet states including the former Yugoslavia. While there are allegations that Ms. Tymoshenko has somehow enriched herself/family while Ukraine’s Prime Minister, the actual “crime” for which she was convicted was overstepping her authority in negotiating, (under rather pressing circumstances of extreme cold and a withholding of supplies from Russia), the natural gas use and transit agreement with the Russian Federation.
After Ms. Tymoshenko was defeated in elections and deposed as Prime Minister, the government of long-time rival Viktor Yanukovych initiated an investigation and subsequent prosecution by claiming that Tomyshenko had done substantial harm to Ukraine by “abusing her authority.” Many of Ukraine’s neighbors though suspect that under President Yankuvoych, Kiev is drifting back into the old orbit of Moscow, (Tymoshenko was one of the leaders of the “Orange Revolution” that effectively overthrew Mr. Yanukovych’s Moscow-leaning mentor). However, even Moscow does not appear particularly enthusiastic regarding the Prosecution. Others just suspect personal payback. Personal experience teaches me that behind the agenda there is a complicated web of political, economic, and personal agendas especially as Yulia herself became known for sharp elbows. Regardless, Ukraine’s image has been as badly or more abused than Tymoshenko herself.
Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey – FOLLOW mo @MuhamedSacirbey
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