ウクライナ政変 安定回復へ欧露の責任は重い

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 25, 2014
EU, Russia have grave responsibility to help Ukraine regain stability
ウクライナ政変 安定回復へ欧露の責任は重い(2月25日付・読売社説)

International cooperation is needed to help Ukraine regain its stability, a country beset by the rival influences of the European Union and Russia.

The administration of President Viktor Yanukovych has effectively collapsed, and Yanukovych was forced to leave Kiev in the face of fierce antigovernment protests.

The parliament has approved opposition leader Oleksandr Turchinov as acting head of state and decided to hold a presidential election in May. Yet, how the current chaotic situation will unfold remains uncertain.

Yanukovych’s downfall was triggered when he reneged on plans to sign an agreement with the EU in November, centering on a free-trade pact.

Wary of seeing Ukraine move closer to the EU, Russia is believed to have made blatant approaches to the country by promising large-scale economic assistance in return for postponing conclusion of the EU accord.

The opposition and its supporters strongly protested and launched antigovernment demonstrations. Fighting between the opposition and security forces, which left more than 80 people dead this month, doomed the administration.

Historically, Ukraine’s western region has been strongly influenced by the West, while the eastern region looks toward Moscow. Ever since its independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991, pro-Russian groups have attached great importance to the country’s ties with Russia, while pro-EU factions have been trying to bring the country closer to the EU. The rivalry between the two groups resulted in repeated changes in administration.

Shift to West likely

Yanukovych, seen as pro-Russian, was forced from power by pro-EU groups, and these groups, including former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who had been imprisoned, seized power. Ukraine is likely to shift further toward the EU.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who hopes to use the success of the Sochi Olympics to move forward with the economic reintegration of the former Soviet bloc, probably feels as if he has been doused with cold water.

If Putin, in an attempt to influence Ukraine, takes such hard-line measures as restricting supplies of natural gas to Ukraine, as Russia has in the past, the current turmoil will only worsen. We hope Russia will be prudent.

The EU should coordinate its views with Russia to prevent the situation in Ukraine from deteriorating. We highly appreciate German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s telephone conversation with Putin in which they agreed that Ukraine’s territorial integrity must be upheld. They also concurred that splitting Ukraine into eastern and western regions should be avoided.

With its massive external debt, Ukraine is said to be in danger of default. Assistance from the international community, including the EU, is the key to the country regaining stability.

Ukraine, which experienced the devastating Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident, has inked an accord with Japan on nuclear issues, exchanging information and experts. We should keep a keen eye on how developments will turn out in the days ahead.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 25, 2014)
(2014年2月25日01時24分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2014-02-27 06:14 | 英字新聞

<< 徳田議員辞職 政界去っても説明... G20共同声明 世界成長2%底... >>