Timothy Ash: UKRAINE ENTERING ‘SERIOUS POLITICAL CRISIS’: SPEAKER HROISMAN

Guest Contributor:

One tip for politicians in places of power – don’t mention the “C” word when u are facing a tricky economic situation.

It reminds me of President Sezer in Turkey in 2001 when he famously (reportedly, but maybe urban legend) threw a copy of the constitution at then PM Ecevit and said “we have a crisis”. Within days the market had taken him at his word, and the crawling peg exchange rate regime had collapsed and the rest is history.

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published 4 February 2016: Economics, EU, Reform

Ukraine – Focus on Reform Priorities

Guest Contributor:

Timothy Ash

The one year anniversary of the Maydan protests this week has refocused attention on what has been achieved thus far on the reform front and therein to identify what the reform priorities should be going forward.

It is easy to be critical, and many of the Maydan protesters are of their politicians in failing to deliver very little substantive reform thus far, but it is perhaps important to consider that the country has been subjected to enormous pressures and headwinds over the past year. Alongside the revolutionary events of last February which saw the ousting of a corrupt and latterly despotic regime, with the resultant inevitable disruption that that causes, the country has seen Crimea annexed, alongside foreign direct intervention in the Donbas, and a military conflict which has killed over 4,000 people, wounded many thousands more and displaced hundreds of thousands of people both internally and across its borders. An area equivalent to around 10% of the country’s land mass has been subject to either annexation or military conflict, and the destruction and disruption to infrastructure and industry has been immense and is continuing. The economy has been further buffeted by trade restrictions and blockades from Russia – which had accounted for around one third of trade turnover prior to the conflict – and disruption to key energy supplies. Add in the domestic political flux caused by holding an early presidential election and then parliamentary elections and the interim Yatsniuk administration can be excused for failing to live up to expectations in terms of longer term reform enacted.

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published 25 November 2014: Democracy, Economics, EU, Europe, Military, NATO, Reform, Russia, Security