Ukrainian ministers called traitors by the Rada MPs

The political bomb exploded in Ukraine: on Tuesday the Supreme Rada sacked the cabinet by the majority of votes

Ukrainian flagNo sooner was the contract over flow of natural gas signed by Gazprom and Neftegaz Ukrainy than the Ukrainian politicians started criticizing it severely.  The government was accused nearly by everybody – Viktor Yanukovich, Yulia Timoshenko, the communists. The parliament's speaker Vladimir Litvin was more discreet. However, he was also severe upon the government of Yury Yekhanurov. As a result, on Tuesday the political bomb exploded in the country – the Supreme Rada sacked the cabinet by the majority of the votes.

405 out of 250 members of parliament who were present voted for dismissal of the government. The decision was supported by the Party of Regions, Yulia Timoshenko's bloc, communists, members of the Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (United) and also some of the parliament members that are close to the People's Party of Vladimir Litvin. Representatives of the pro-president party Our Ukraine, socialists and the members of the nationalistic People's Party of Ukraine abstained from voting. Meantime, the parliament commissioned the sacked government with carrying out its duties until the new cabinet is formed.  

Statements of the members of parliament were rather rigid and most of them were connected with the recently signed contract over the flow of natural gas from Russia, which they call a fettering agreement. “The signed agreement is the worst decision that could have been taken in the circumstances concerned”, Vladimir Litvin said. Viktor Yanukovich, Yulia Timoshenko and communists in their turn were unanimously talking about betrayal of national interests. Besides, the members of parliament formed a special committee for investigation of the Neftegaz Ukrainy activity and also demanded the dismissal o the company's head Aleksey Ivchenko.

The situation is even more confusing taking into account that starting from the 1 January 2006 a new political reform came into force, according to which the Supreme Rada has a right to appoint and dismiss the cabinet. However, the parliament will be able to do so only after the elections on 26 March, so the PM's candidate will be presented by Viktor Yushchenko. The president, by the way, was on his visit to Kazakhstan at the moment and it is hard to understand who was ruling the country.

According to the head of the Centre of economic and political research and development, Vladimir Razuvaev, the government should have been dismissed earlier. “The cabinet should have been dismissed on 1 January. It is not only about the conditions of the gas agreement. Everything turned out not so bad for Ukraine, although the gas problem accelerated all the events, of course. Yekhanurov is a quite good bureaucrat, but he is not so good as a public politician, which became apparent during the discussion of the gas problem. The PM failed at managing the crisis. Besides, among the reasons for the cabinet’s dismissal I would like to mention the Ukrainian habit of turning all the disagreements and failures into political issue”, Razuvaev said.

The head of the Centre for political research, Sergey Markov, told Pravda.Ru that the reason for sacking Yekhanurov's government was his incompetence and the policy of exacerbation of the relations with Russia that was leading to a dead-end from the very beginning.  “The government and Yushchenko himself are fully responsible for the failed agreement over the flow of gas, which was mainly the result of the anti-Russian policy of Yushchenko and his team”, the political expert says.

Markov is also sure that the anti-president majority was finally formed in the Supreme Rada. At the same time it is not clear who governs in Ukraine. “Yushchenko's team tried to form its anti-Russian majority in the parliament, but the attempt definitely failed. Everybody became displeased with the government – the Party of Regions, communists, Timoshenko and even Litvin who was against the dismissal at first. Yushchenko was going to discuss the gas issue with Putin, but it is questionable whether he has control over Ukraine. It is clear that Rada has made an attempt to seize power”, Markov emphasized.

Vladimir Razuvaev in his turn said that the situation in Ukraine could develop in the most unpredictable way. “Timoshenko, Yanukovich, Litvin and communists are trying to take advantage of the situation and to humiliate the president, who is losing his right to appoint the government. At the same time, Yushchenko is also greatly responsible for what has happened. All of the parties are responsible for the political chaos in Ukraine, the consequences of which can be not only unpredictable but also horrible”, the political expert concluded.

Ivan Shmeliov

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Author`s name Olga Savka