Summary of Ukrainian media review October 22, 2014

Peaceful Settlement

Western countries are seeking common understanding with the Russian Federation. At the summit in Brussels on October 23-24th, EU leaders will discuss Russian-Ukrainian crisis. On the eve of the meeting within the framework of the US Secretary’s of State visit to Berlin the USA and Germany align their geopolitical positions. In particular, during the meeting with the German Minister for Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier Kerry emphasized the necessity for all the parties to fulfill Minsk agreements. According to Kerry, maintaining control on the Ukrainian-Russian border and withdrawal of troops from the buffer zone are core issues to be  considered. Besides, Kerry stated that the USA has no intentions to arise hostility with Russia, because global problems need common solutions.

In his turn, German Minister for Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier claimed that the EU Foreign Affairs Council should formalize the terms, which Russia must fulfill in order to get sanctions soften or cancelled. According to Steinmeier, attention should be drawn to the withdrawal of militants and machinery from the buffer zone, border control and holding elections in DPR and LPR in compliance with the Ukrainian legislature.

While the European and American authorities are working out peaceful agreement, former CIA chief and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta underscores that the Russian President Vladimir Putin, who captured the Crimea through military force, is going to repeat the same scenario in eastern Ukraine.

The restructuring of the political class is being at the final stage in Russia. Representing systemic liberals, the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is no longer considered as a center of influence on Vladimir Putin. An increased role of security forces can be easily noticed: among the most influential leaders are the Minister Sergei Shoigu, the Chief of Staff Presidential Administration Ivanov, General Director of “Rosteha” Sergey Chemezov in the sphere of defense and Ivanov as well as his deputy Vyacheslav Volodin in the sphere of internal politics.

Gas negotiations between Ukraine, Russia and European Union are forecasted to be completed on 29th of October. On the eve of elections to the Ukrainian Parliament the positions of the parties seem to be more and more opposite. In particular, Russia’s Minister of Energy Alexander Novak stated that the Russian-Ukrainian gas agreement as of 2009 is going to be valid for a few years until the Stockholm arbitration takes a decision. He also accused Ukraine of gas consumption not through the reverse regime from European countries, but directly from the gas pipe on its territory during the European transportation. The Russian Minister considers gas reverse to Ukraine as a virtual one. According to him, reverse gas supplies from Europe to Ukraine are being investigated by the OJSC “Gazprom”.

Despite Ettinger’s optimism, EU considers the perspective of the short-term full stop of gas transit to Europe. MEP Sandra Kalniete claims Europe to be ready to get sanctions against Russia tightened if it stops gas supply to the east of Ukraine.

Some Ukrainian experts believe that the terms of gas agreement have been already discussed, and its signing is postponed to 29th of October in order not to disturb Ukrainians by the treaties with aggressor. V.Zemlyansky states that the mediator financed by Russia is not excluded from the scheme, which deals with the cancellation of sanctions.

GSE announces the start of Ukrainian gas extraction from UGS.

Leaders of the self-proclaimed DPR inform about preparation of the large-scale offensive of the Ukrainian troops after holding elections.

The Reforms

According to the Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Dmitry Shimkiv, the first phase of the reformation project held by the fund of the British government, is on its final stage, allowing to optimize processes in the office. Besides, Shimkiv claimed that electronic document management system has been already launched while the system of electronic interaction with the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine is being tested. Such systems allow documents to be transmitted in electronic format from the one office to another.

The Head of Lustriation committee E. Sobolev believes that  the law “On Lustration” is not going to be fulfilled by officials, who will sabotage it. According to him, Poroshenko himself is not an ardent supporter of such measures.

The Elections

According to public opinion polling results, conducted by the Gorshenin Institute on October 12-21 2014, 24,2% of respondents will vote for “Petro Poroshenko’s Block”, 10,4% – for Tymoshenko’s “Fatherland” party, 7,9% – for “The National Front”, 7,4% – for the Radical Party, 5,4% – for “Civil Position” and 5,3% – for “Samopomich” (“Self-Help”).

According to similar survey conducted by the “Ilka Kucheriv Democratic initiatives” along with Kiev International Institute of Sociology on October 9-18 2014, “Petro Poroshenko’s Block” is expected to be supported by 20,5% of voters, the Radical Party – by 8,6%, “The National Front” – by 6,8%,”Samopomich” (“Self-Help”) – 5,8%.