“If I ever disappear, please tell people that I ran after the Devil, trying to get my soul back.”
Newsflow from Kiev is changing almost by the hour but one factor has become clear; President Yanakovich’s previous hope of striking a deal with both Brussels and Moscow has all but gone. The resilience of the protestors in Kiev and the pressure coming from both the EU and Russia means that he is fast being forced into making a choice between east or west. There is no longer any possibility of playing one off against the other and the time remaining to make a choice is running out.
There is also increasing speculation of pressure on Yanakovich from within his support group and the oligarchs. To make some political concessions, e.g. to agree to a one term limit or to call fresh Rada elections, as a way to diffuse the current tensions. The argument being that in such an event both the EU and Russia would back off and wait to see how the situation developed. Purely speculative of course as there is no current evidence that Yanakovich is thinking of yielding any power. Even if that were to happen, Ukraine would still need to work a financial aid deal with the EU/IMF or Russia within months. Muddling through is only an option with a very short shelf-life. Perhaps until the spring, but almost certainly not into the summer without debt re-scheduling.
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