Ukraine casts Russia aside on the way to Europe and USA

The new Ukrainian administration is persistently advancing towards Europe

It seems that most pessimistic forecasts about the essence of the new power in Ukraine are coming true. Several key issues of the new Ukrainian stance about Russia have recently surfaced: it is already possible to analyze Ukrainian officials' views about Russia.

Ukraine's new President has already dropped a hint about new relations between Kiev and Moscow. Viktor Yushchenko, however, was rather vague in his statements on the matter, so the question remained open.

Oleg Ribachuk, the vice premier for European integration issues, was rather explicit in his description of Ukrainian government's nearest plans. According to the minister, the capacity of Ukraine's participation in the joint European space is permissible to the maximum. A deeper level of economic integration – Ukraine's participation in the customs union, not to mention the introduction of the joint currency - is harmful and unacceptable for Kiev.

It is worth mentioning that the new elite is quite happy with the free trade zone. It allows Ukraine to receive Russian energy carriers at fair prices and to access Russian, Belarussian and Kazakh sales markets.

Another statement from the vice premier was devoted to Ukraine's forthcoming membership in the WTO. The incorporation is supposed to happen until the end of the current year. It is not ruled out that the new Ukrainian government considers the variant of joining the World Trade Organization “at all costs.” Oleg Ribachuk described Ukraine's advantages as a WTO member too: a WTO member can dictate certain conditions to another country, which has not become a member yet.

Boris Tarasyuk, the former chairman of the parliamentary committee for European integration, expressed his opinion about the presence of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine's Sevaspotol. The official said that the Russian Black Fleet should be based in Russia, not on the territory of Ukraine. It brings up the idea that the new Ukrainian government is ready to denounce previously concluded agreements. Tarasyuk used to be the head of the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Ukraine, although he was dismissed from the position on account of Moscow's pressure, as he believes so himself. Now Boris Tarasyuk takes the post of the Foreign Minister in the new Ukrainian government.

The above-mentioned details are enough to come to certain conclusions. Kiev is obviously not intended to stick to its national interests in the future. The new Ukrainian administration is persistently advancing towards Europe. However, it is rather difficult for Ukraine to impress Western Europe with such actions. It would be logic to presume that Yushchenko's team is intended to take Ukraine to the USA. Ukraine's political course is clear at least for one year ahead, when the parliamentary election takes place in the country. The strategy and tactics of Yushchenko's team is obvious.

Aleksei Kovalev

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Author`s name Olga Savka