President Kuchma: Ukraine may face a disaster

The situation in Ukraine is getting more and more tense. President Leonid Kuchma himself has told radio Liberty that his country may face a terrible disaster. But what does he mean by “disaster?” In his view, the disaster may happen if the presidential powers are limited and a parliamentary rule is introduced. This is exactly what his political opponents say they are planning to do. According to Mr. Kuchma, such trends are of an “extremely negative nature” and may result in the “ the entire Ukraine being defeated.” Mr. Kuchma fears a pending political agreement between the parliament and the government. The conditions put forward by the opposition are getting tougher and tougher. Dialogue is evaded, and Mr. Kuchma’s resignation is seen as a prerequisite. And yet, Leonid Kuchma is not right. It is the President who is going to be left with nothing, not the entire Ukraine. Russia, whom he has repeatedly appealed to, will hardly help - what is happening in Ukraine is the sovereign country’s business. Radio Liberty in tightly US-connected. Again, Mr. Kuchma can hardly hope for a helping hand from overseas. The relationships between Kyiv and Washington have never been noted for much warmth during his tenure. Besides, the USA never renders assistance just “for the love of it.” True, Mr. Kuchma is the President. But he fails to personify the country’s public opinion.

SERGEI YUGOV