"Report on Transformation. Ukraine 2012"

15.05.2013

On 12-14 May, 2013 the sixth Europe-Ukraine Forum took place in Budapest.

The forum was organized by the Hungarian Foreign Ministry and the Institute for East European Studies, University of Warsaw.

"Report on Transformation. Ukraine 2012" was presented by Vadym Omelchenko, President of the Gorshenin Institute. He underlined the custom of analytical approach and the accuracy of forecasts of the Institute, which was typical for that kind of study. The report presents the results of analysis of the political, economic and social processes in Ukraine in the past year, with an emphasis on the continuation and development.

According to the authors, among highlights of the 2012, there were parliamentary elections, which significantly changed the balance of forces in the Verkhovna Rada and led to the strengthening of the opposition. The Party of Regions has found itself in a deeper than ever dependency on the Ukrainian Communist Party and faced the necessity of entering into broader cooperation with this political group. The parliamentary oppositions’ parties have reached an outstanding electoral return mainly due to wider participation of so called “undecided voters”.

This phenomenon, indicated in the report as “a hidden protest”, is a growing and noticeable trend, that will intensify over next years, the experts presume.

Read also: Ukrainians capable of "arming themselves with ballots" to make "quiet revolution" – Gorshenin Institute head

There are new opposition forces in the Verkhovna Rada which have distinguished themselves by readiness and ability for cooperation. The report emphasizes the necessity to remove from the political scene the former prime minister Yulia Timoshenko, her arrest and condemnation which had an impact on the reconstruction of the opposition. Three young and ambitious politicians: Arsenii Yatseniuk, leader of the Batkivschyna faction in parliament, Vitalii Klychko, leader of the “UDAR” party, and Oleh Tiahnybok, leader of the Svoboda All-Ukrainian Association, are at the forefront of the opposition. According to 41% of surveyed respondents, Yulia Tymoshenko remains an undisputed person number 1 in the opposition.

The report pays much attention to human rights and freedom of the media. Its authors point to multiple critical assessments by international organizations in this respect.

A large part of the report is devoted to evaluation of business processes. It is emphasised that the year 2012 was for the Ukrainian economy a period of stagnation or evenrecession in key industries: metallurgy, engineering and agriculture. As a result, the GDP growth was a mere 0.2 percent instead of the budgeted 3.4 percent. The report authors analyse in detail the condition of the country’s energy sector, stressing Ukraine’s dependence on Russia and attempts to reduce this dependence by the so-called gas reverse flow.

In foreign policy, according to the authors of the Report, the dominating tendency is to constantly look for a balance between the East and the West. This practice, which up to a certain moment brought some results, recently has become less effective. Each time Europe sends critical signals to Kiev, Russia immediately changes her stance for less flexible versus Ukraine.

Read also: Gorshenin Institute head warns against comparing political situation in Ukraine and Russia

In the debate on the Report, comments have been delivered by Olexandr Narbut, an Ukrainian independent energy expert; Slav Slavov, a regional director of the World Energy Council on Europe and Central Asia, as well as Dietmar Stuedeman, former German Ambassador of Germany in Kiev. They agreed that geo-strategic location of Ukraine between Russia and Europedetermines its inner and foreign policy, and energy issues are one of the crucial aspects influencing the shape of this policy.

For more details download "Report on Transformation. Ukraine 2012" in .pdf

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