A Fateful Choice in Ukraine
On August 13th, Ukrainian Prime Minister Julia Tymoshenko (pictured) declared in response to the Russian invasion of Georgia: “We stand in solidarity with the democratically-elected leadership of Georgia. Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected.”
The day before, she had announced that her personal envoy would visit the Georgian capitol in a physical expression of solidarity. Two weeks later she repeated her call for solidarity, stating: “Georgia’s territorial integrity is a solemn matter both for Georgia and Ukraine.”
Yet, yesterday the Telegraph reported:
Tymoshenko has revealed that she has been summoned by prosecutors to answer [President Viktor Yushchenko’s] charge of treason as Ukraine’s two rulers battle it out for power ahead of a 2010 presidential vote over their country’s future direction. President Yushchenko has accused the prime minister of failing to condemn Russia’s actions in Georgia, and the presence of the Russian naval fleet in Ukraine, in exchange for political support from the Kremlin. Tymoshenko hotly denies the allegations. The Ukraine’s prosecutor has declined to comment.
Tymoshenko’s party, as trumpeted by Kremlin-controlled wire service RIA Novosti, has declined to vote in support of Yushchenko’s resolution condemning the use of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, based in Ukraine, against Georgia during the invasion. The Jamestown Foundation reports that according to Yushchenko’s “aide Andry Kyslynsky, Moscow reportedly has earmarked $1 billion to back Tymoshenko’s presidential bid.”
In short, Russia’s action in Georgia has accelerated the fateful choice Ukrainians must make, whether they will return to subjugation by the malignant empire of Russia, or set their own course towards a European future. Two-third of Ukrainians have expressed a clear preference to join the EU, but they are less sure of themselves on NATO membership and one-third of the country prefers enslavement.