The new regional axis Minsk-Kiev

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

Belarus president does not want the world to forget that the first agreements on Donbass were signed in its capital, Minsk, in February 2015, and that it represented a diplomatic success for the man still qualified at the time by Westerners as “the last dictator of Europe”. It led indeed to a thaw in the relations between Belarus, the European Union and Washington without antagonising Moscow. Continue reading “The new regional axis Minsk-Kiev”

President Zelensky trapped in Washington intrigues

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

For the second time since the surprise election of Donald Trump, the fight between the Democrats and president Trump is being fought in Ukraine. First, the Muller inquiry put its teeth into the business of Paul Manafort, briefly member of Trump’s campaign team, who made millions in Ukraine, including by orchestrating the election campaign of “pro-Russian” Yanukovich who defeated “pro-Western” Yushchenko. Continue reading “President Zelensky trapped in Washington intrigues”

International and national start for president Zelensky

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

Since his election, Ukrainian president Zelensky had to live with the government and parliament inherited from his predecessor. But he was the president, a power he used to reassure Ukraine’s allies, and made himself better known by foreign partners, showing that his country had a place in the ongoing global world and was not just a punching ball between Russia and the West. Continue reading “International and national start for president Zelensky”

A full reintegration, a half success

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

The return of Russia to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is not the Russian victory declared by those who opposed the measure. It was an act of pragmatism by the Assembly that means nothing in terms of rapprochement between Russia and EU, the latter being a body totally separated from the Council of Europe. Continue reading “A full reintegration, a half success”

President Zelensky’s difficult succession

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

Volodymyr Zelensky is the youngest president of Ukraine, the least experienced, but also the first who had to fight with parliament to decide the date of his inauguration. Elected on 21 April, Zelensky was finally inaugurated on 20 May after a long fight with a hostile parliament where he has no party and even no deputies. The present members of parliament have been fighting for their survival as much as they wanted to teach a lesson to the new president who wished the ceremony to be held on early May, then on 19th. Continue reading “President Zelensky’s difficult succession”

The strange reaction of the Kremlin

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

The ill-inspired reaction of Vladimir Putin to the election of Volodymyr Zelensky will not help the future Ukrainian president to give the impulse to better relations with Russia that he promised during his campaign. Instead of keeping the low profile adopted during the electoral campaign, mostly for lack of candidates to support, the Kremlin unwisely decided to test the newly elected president on its own terms. Continue reading “The strange reaction of the Kremlin”

The strange second round of Ukraine’s presidential election

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

The campaign for the second round of Ukrainian presidential elections was much the same that for the first round: petty and dirty, with public trolling, giving samples for medical tests under cameras, endless provocations and promising not so much a better future as an Armaggedon in case voters will choose the wrong candidate. Continue reading “The strange second round of Ukraine’s presidential election”

Geopolitical election in Ukraine

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

If someone is tempted to ignore we are living in a fudgy post-Cold war atmosphere, suffices to look at Ukraine’s presidential elections. Those have been turned into a geopolitical game by outsiders, but also by the candidates. Part of that singularity is linked to the country’s war condition, but only part. Continue reading “Geopolitical election in Ukraine”

Lotto elections in Ukraine

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

Like everyone else, the West has been surprised by the success in the polls of a newcomer to the electoral Ukrainian scene – the comedian Volodymyr Zelensky. According to polls, Zelensky is going to lead with about a third of votes in the 31 March election – the favourite among 39 presidential candidates. Next is expected to be incumbent President Petro Poroshenko (17.1%), opposition Fatherland party leader Yulia Tymoshenko (12.5%) and the co-chairman of the Opposition Platform – For Life bloc Yuri Boyko (10,4%). Four other candidates could pass the 5% hurdle. Continue reading “Lotto elections in Ukraine”

Crimea for ever?

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

Celebrations in Crimea lasted 4 full days and included a visit of president Putin. In Moscow, there were a few flags, but no official celebrations. Seemingly, the Kremlin wants to show that Crimea is just another member of the Federation, no more no less. Continue reading “Crimea for ever?”