18:05 10.02.2017

Political experts see political 'storm' in Ukraine

KYIV. Feb 10 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The political situation in Ukraine is "heading for turbulence," both domestically and in terms of external factors, political experts have said.

"The political barometer in Ukraine shows a storm is brewing. Parliament is not working, which explains why serious draft laws have not been put forward for passage. There are also problems with adopting the legislative slate. In addition to the political impotency of parliament we are witness to scandals involving lawmakers: fights and hooliganism, such as the incident involving deputy Honcharenko, who defaced a fragment of the Berlin Wall in front of the Germany embassy in Kyiv," Vadym Karasiov, Institute of Global Strategies director, said at a press conference in Kyiv on Friday at the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency.

Karasiov drew attention to scandals within the Cabinet of Ministers involving the Finance Ministry and the head of Ukraine's Fiscal Service.

"This is a symptom showing that the Cabinet today is unsure of itself, especially several ministers. And if we take into account that grace period for the Cabinet runs out then it becomes apparent that there will be an attempt to scupper the government after its report to parliament in April. I don't know whether it will be successful. Probably, several ministers will be dismissed," the political expert said.

Karasiov said internal problems are piling up and the situation in foreign and military affairs is also complicated.

"The situation with Avdiyivka, the situation in Donbas, the strange scandal involving Poles and the lack of clarity how the administration will get along with newly elected U.S. President Donald Trump … The first contact between the American and Ukrainian presidents does not give us a lot of optimism," Karasiov said.

The expert also noted that government critics, including MP Yulia Tymoshenko, have stepped up their criticism, along with leaders of parliament factions Samopomich and former Odesa regional administration chief Mikheil Saakashvili.

Kostiantyn Matviyenko, an expert of Strategic Consulting Corporation, agreed, saying fights and scandals have overshadowed any consequential legislative work.

Matviyenko said the "vacuum of political ideas" will be filled by other politicians. He pointed to the meeting of Batkivschyna (Fatherland) Faction head Yulia Tymoshenko, who met with Trump in Washington, D.C. last week.

As for U.S.-Ukraine bilaterial relations, he said U.S. officials "do not intend abandon Ukraine."

Ukrainian Barometer Director Viktor Nebozhenko drew attention to the fact that Ukraine and the U.S. are natural allies, but said Americans are not impressed by Ukraine's political elite and its ability to manage the country.

"I think there will be a serious re-set in the political landscape. How it will occur, with or without elections, I do not know," Nebozhenko said.

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