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Policy Paper

Stop the dismemberment of Ukraine


Author: Lucio Levi
Date: 2014 April



The triumph of the people’s uprising in bringing down the corrupt and bloody government of Yanukovich marks the resumption of the democratic process in Ukraine.  But the crisis is not yet over.  The decline in the initial impetus of the Arab Spring shows that the fall of oppressive dictatorships is only the first step in a long and difficult transition.  The transition to democracy has two prerequisites: economic growth and international stability.>Ukraine is on the brink of an economic disaster.  The oligarchs who grabbed economic power, profiting from the devastating transition from state socialism to wild capitalism after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, looted the country and bent the political class to their will.  

The plan for emergency aid, organised by Moscow after the Kiev government’s decision to not sign the association agreement with the EU, was suspended after the fall of Yanukovic.  Now it is part of the association agreement between Ukraine and the EU, with the support of a financial contribution of the International Monetary Fund.  The swinging of Ukraine between East and West shows how it is becoming the pawn in a dispute that seems to be taking us back to the Cold War period.  The most serious risk for the country in this dramatic moment is its dismemberment.  If the situation slips out control of the political forces vying to govern the country and of the external players on which world order depends, this could initiate the most dangerous international crisis since the end of the Cold War along the fault-line dividing two major regions of the world: the European Union and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).