A reasonable solution for Ukraine

Kindly translated by Anne-Marie de Grazia

Reacting to my latest note[1], Crimea and International Law, Steve Ohana[2] asked me what a « reasonable » Ukrainian government would have to do in order to avoid the explosion of the country. I remind my readers that I consider that such an explosion would be the worst possible solution, as much for the European countries as for Russia. [3]. Writing this, I am fully aware that political actors revolve in a world of representations which can diverge rather widely from reality. It’s therefore not because a solution appears “rationally” to correspond to interests that it will be adopted. Yet, I persist in believing that it is in the interest of those in power in Ukraine to reach a situation which would be acceptable for all, and which preserves a united and independent Ukraine. Let us therefore formulate the minimal conditions:

  • (1)  The government in Kiev must absolutely and immediately separate itself from all the extremist elements, organize a complete disarmament and a dissolution of the militias. It must accept to cooperate with an international independent investigative commission (which could be constituted under the auspices of the OECD or the United Nations) in order to shed full light on the real origin of the snipers, whose shooting made so many victims on Maidan Square.
  • (2)  It must convene a national reconciliation conference with all the parties present for the refoundation of the national pact which has been maltreated since February 21. The outcome of this conference must be an electoral process which will be accepted by all, to designate the Parliament as well as the President.
  • (3)  Symmetrically, it must ask all authorities to declare a moratorium on the referendums of reunion with Russia. In any event, these referendums should only take place if this conference fails. It engages itself as well, for the duration of the conference on the national pact, not to bring any new elements of armed forces into Crimea.
  • (4)  It must then desist from modifying existing treaties, or signing treaties. This can only be done, for all purposes, by the authorities coming out of the new elections. It can even make a declaration of intent of renouncing solemnly to ask admission of Ukraine into NATO, provided that member countries of the Security Counsel of the United Nations take the engagement to guarantee the independence of the country.

Such are the minimal conditions in order to freeze the situation and to have a few chances to see it evolve favorably. Yet it is clear that an important economic component should accompany these decision, for today the situation in Ukraine is really dramatic. This component is not, in part, of the resort of the authorities in Kiev. Still one can give some precisions on its subject. It will imply:

  •  (a)   Immediately, an accord between European countries and Russia to avoid the default of Ukraine and to allow it to face its immediate commitments.
  •  (b)  In the middle term, reforms must be put in place, but Ukraine will have to develop its integration with the Russian economy, which it is doing in fact since the Orange Revolution (ah yes… economy has its laws which one ignores at one’s own risk), for this integration alone is able to furnish Ukraine with the growth it needs.

I do not know if these conditions can be realized but at any rate, they should make up the basis of the discourse of French diplomacy, even if it means offering to M. Bernard-Henri Levy a prolonged vacation on the Kerguelen Islands.

[1] Sapir J., « Crimea and International Law », RussEurope, posté le 7 mars 2014, URL : http://russeurope.hypotheses.org/2066

[2] Sur Twitter @ohanasteve

[3] Sapir J., «Preserving the Unity of Ukraine», RussEurope, posté le 3 mars 2014, URL : http:// http://russeurope.hypotheses.org/2049  


Jacques Sapir

Ses travaux de chercheur se sont orientés dans trois dimensions, l’étude de l’économie russe et de la transition, l’analyse des crises financières et des recherches théoriques sur les institutions économiques et les interactions entre les comportements individuels. Il a poursuivi ses recherches à partir de 2000 sur les interactions entre les régimes de change, la structuration des systèmes financiers et les instabilités macroéconomiques. Depuis 2007 il s'est impliqué dans l’analyse de la crise financière actuelle, et en particulier dans la crise de la zone Euro.

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