Valeriy Kucheruk on Ukraine

Last Friday a number of events took place in Ukraine, which allows stating that Ukraine is, as never before, close to fulfilling Europe’s requirements for the successful signing of the Association Agreement at the Vilnius Summit. The matter concerns, in particular, the resolution of the “selective justice” issue or, to put it simply, the notorious “Yulia Tymoshenko” issue.

On Friday early afternoon a decree suddenly was posted on the official website of the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych appointing First Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine Renat Kuzmin for the position of Deputy Secretary of the Council of National Security and Defense (CNSD). It must be observed that in the Ukrainian political realities the CNSD is a place for the appointment of state officials and members of the top brass whose services are no longer needed; or for those with whom the president does not want to conflict in public and who may be useful for the head of the state a little later. That is why the appointment of Renat Kuzmin as Deputy Secretary of the CNSD should be regarded as a demotion and his removal (possibly temporary) from the list of people actually influencing the politics in Ukraine.

It must be stated that it is Mr Kuzmin who has proved himself over the last years to be the main “fighter” with the representatives of the previous authorities – it is exactly him who supervised the investigation of criminal cases as regards the ex-minister of internal affairs Yuriy Lutsenko and the former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko. And it is exactly him who has launched an unseen before PR campaign aimed at representing Ms Tymoshenko in the public eye (including European) as guilty in all deadly sins – a murder among them.

Based on this, it is possible to come into conclusion that Mr Kuzmin was for European politicians, who consider the criminal prosecution of Yulia Tymoshenko to be political repressions, almost the main irritation. And exactly for that reason his removal from the Prosecutor’s General Office by Viktor Yanukovych should be regarded exactly as a serious concession to Europeans on the issue of the “selective justice” resolution.

The dismissal of Mr Kuzmin itself became quite a resonant event in Ukraine. However, other events followed, giving hopes to believe that the “Tymoshenko issue” would be resolved basically some of these days.

In particular, the defender of the ex-prime minister Serhiy Vlasenko read Yulia Tymoshenko’s public statement to journalists in which she agrees to the medical treatment abroad. “Pat Cox and Aleksander Kwasniewski gave me an official offer concerning the trip for the treatment to Germany. I publicly accept this offer,” Tymoshenko’s statement reads among other things. “I fought, fight and will fight for my complete legal rehabilitation, dropping of all absurd…falsified charges, return to a full-fledged political life. Obviously, the trip for the treatment does not solve this problem altogether. But I believe that this step will defuse the situation on the eve of the Eastern Partnership Summit. That is why for the sake of the success in Vilnius and successful Ukraine, for the sake of the historic and crucial EU Association Agreement I am ready to make this decision,” the document resumes.

Mr Vlasenko informed journalists about one more important thing – Pat Cox and Aleksander Kwasniewski gave Viktor Yanukovych an appeal for pardon of Yulia Tymoshenko. “I had a meeting with the representatives of the Mission of the European Parliament – Part Cox and Aleksander Kwasniewski. I have their permission to inform you that today during the meeting with Viktor Yanukovych for the lawful legalization of Yulia Tymoshenko’s ability to travel abroad, Cox and Kwasniewski presented an appeal for pardon of Tymoshenko, signed by them,” he said. According to him, this appeal enables Yanukovych to apply “his constitutional powers” for the signing of the Association Agreement at the Vilnius Summit. That means to pardon the ex-prime minister.

It must be remarked that according to the Ukrainian legislation a pardon does not remove the criminal record and a convicted person cannot participate in the elections – either in parliamentary or in presidential. That is why the pardon option is absolutely unacceptable for Ms Tymoshenko; but so far it is completely agreeable for Viktor Yanukovych and Messrs Cox and Kwasniewski, who, perhaps, understanding that the president will not rehabilitate the ex-prime minister completely, have been persuading her all this time to agree at least to this. The compromise settlement has finally been found and what remains is merely to wait for the official decision of the Ukrainian president.

It is not clear when it will happen. But it is known that Viktor Yanukovych, as a rule, prefers to herald epoch-making decisions for the country at major religious holidays. The nearest one (the Intercession of the Mother of God) is celebrated by orthodox Christians on October 14.


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