Comment by Alyona Getmanchuk, Director of the Institute of World Policy, for the newspaper “Den’”.

After the referendum in the Netherlands a few things are important. First, the Dutch “No” creates many political and legal inconveniences, but it does not kill the EU –Ukraine Association Agreement itself. Most of the text of the Agreement relates to the competences of the EU, rather than its member countries, including the Netherlands.

Alyona Getmanchuk, Director of the Institute of World Policy, in her blog for the “Ukrainska pravda”.

After the referendum in the Netherlands the most popular question I was asked was – Why did the Dutch voted against? Of course, you could say that the referendum was not really about Ukraine – they voted not against Ukraine and not even against the Association Agreement, but against the EU and their own government. However, I must honestly admit that during this campaign the Dutch skeptics made the whole referendum partially about Ukraine, twirling the message that “Ukraine is a war” and “Ukraine is corruption”. When the Dutch voted “No”, they voted against those certain things directly related to Ukraine. The question why they voted “No” in the context of Ukraine is really important in order to understand what exactly Ukraine needs to work on in the future.

Kateryna Zarembo, Deputy Director of the Institute of World Policy, for the “Yevropeiska Pravda”.

I personally found the results of the Dutch referendum surprising – no opinion poll in the Netherlands about the possible division of “for” and “against” votes showed that the gap between the two groups would be more than ten per cent. Presumably, the gap of almost 30 per cent was due to the fact that a number of supporters of the Agreement just did not go to the referendum – either because there was less emotional mobilization, or they just attempted to reduce the turnout and thus simply reverse the result of the referendum.

“Once again, the referendum in the Netherlands proved the Ukrainians how influential and pro-active the diaspora can be. Moreover, the “Dutch campaign” was the first example of the successful cooperation between civil society groups and government representatives. This cooperation took place not through clerical-bureaucratic mazes, but basically on-line.”

Read more (in Ukrainian)

 

The referendum results indicate that something is fundamentally wrong, on the first place, in the “European kingdom”.

The answer to the question posed in the headline seems to be obvious: Ukraine and the Ukrainian. However, this answer would not only be superficial, but also wrong. The Dutch gave a loud slap, on the first place, to Brussels, their own government and European democracy as such.

 Read more (in Ukrainian)

 

The urgent formation of the government that is ready to implement necessary reforms was the main message to Ukraine’s President Poroshenko in the US. The formula “first the government – then the money” stated the seriousness of the American side. The main reform that the Americans demand is the creation of an efficient anti-corruption mechanism in Ukraine. The resignation of Mr. Shokin is obviously not enough to talk about Ukraine’s progress in reforming the justice system.

Read about the opportunities, challenges and threats in relations between Ukraine and the United States in the discussion note by Alyona Getmanchuk: Foreign Policy Audit: Ukraine-U.S.

In the article of the “Politiken” Dutch daily newspaper, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Think Tanks Liaison Office in Brussels Olena Prystayko commented the Dutch referendum on the Ukraine – EU Association Agreement, due on the 6th of April 2016.

“Do not take our future away from us, just because you are happy with the EU. Do not destroy everything that the Ukrainian people have fought for, “ Mrs. Prystayko says.

Read the article (in Dutch)

 

 

Co-director of programs of foreign policy and international security at Razumkov Center Mikhail Pashkov told the “Ukrinform” in his interview about the characteristics and likely consequences of the lengthy and hostile coexistence of Ukraine and Russia in the fields of politics, economy and culture.

The current model of “hostile” coexistence of Ukraine and Russia, which has emerged as a result of Russian aggression, obviously, will remain for a long period the only possible way, in which Kyiv and Moscow can coexist (not to mention a possible “hot” phase of the conflict). It is a political and ideological conflict, economic confrontation, and further humanitarian alienation. How will this process develop? What are its specific features and effects? What are the main trends?

Review of the Russian television for February 2016:

After the January information silence, the Russian TV channels began to actively replicate reports of fighting in the Donbas. The main leitmotiv of the stories was the violation by Ukraine of the truce and Minsk agreements.It is curious that the news from Donbas mentioned separatist leaders more rarely; reports were submitted with reference to anonymous, unverifiable sources (‘DPR intelligence’, ‘locals’) or staff ‘talking heads’ of the separatists (Basurin, Pushilin, Deynego).

James Sherr, an Associate Fellow of Chatham House and freelance Research Consultant at the Razumkov Center gave an interview to “Apostrophe” online publication and shared his opinion on when to expect a new attack of Russian troops in Donbas.

– One of the biggest news this week was the decision of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to begin the withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria. What do you think Mr. Putin has on his mind?