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Πέμπτη, 14 Απριλίου 2016

Ukraine Approves New Prime Minister


Ukraine's parliament approved Volodymyr Groysman as Ukraine's new prime minister (Kyiv Post) Thursday, following the resignation of former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk earlier this week. The approval of Groysman, an ally of President Petro Poroshenko, has raised hopes that Ukraine may be able to move forward with a new government after being hampered by political deadlock amid accusations of graft in Yatsenyuk's administration and delays in securing a bailout loan from theInternational Monetary Fund (WaPo). Groysman promised to crack down on corruption and pursue closer ties with Europe (RFE/RL).


"It is worth bearing in mind that the post of prime minister is actually quite a weak position in Ukraine's problematic semi-presidential system. To illustrate this, the title head of the cabinet of ministers is often used by local media and the role has changed over 13 times since independence. Groysman's future success will in fact therefore hinge on the cabinet. In terms of a confidence-building exercise there is plenty of speculation as to whether it will pay off, with Poroshenko now arguably more exposed by having his man in the job. However a step change in reform efforts in Ukraine does not seem likely," writes Jonathan Hibberd for New Eastern Europe.

"Groysman is not much of an independent politician: He has always ridden Poroshenko's coattails, both as governor of Vinnitsa, where Poroshenko's confectionery empire has its base, and as speaker. What's known of his economic program isn't encouraging: Vox Ukraine, the independent Kiev think tank run by some of the country's top economists, have described it as alarmingly populist. Groysman's pronouncements on strengthening agriculture, building roads and fighting corruption while strengthening social support are little different from Yatsenyuk's intentions, and often are misguided," writes Leonid Bershidsky for Bloomberg View.

"Every few months, new corruption allegations rock the government; Western diplomats fly in to issue rebukes and pleas for Ukraine's leaders to think of their people; Kiev promises to do better; the West relents. In the meantime, reforms stagnate, the grip of the oligarchs tightens, and the Ukrainian people grow even more disillusioned. The reason for the West's seemingly endless patience is obvious: It's called Moscow. It's hard to imagine Kiev's brazen kleptocracy being handed dozens of 'last' chances if Ukraine were involved in a conflict with, say, Burkina Faso. But Kiev is in a standoff with Russia, a land considered by many in NATO to be a top threat, which gives Ukraine a symbolic and strategic importance. Nobody understands — and exploits — this better than Kiev's oligarchs," writes Lev Golinkin for Foreign Policy.

CFR-Daily News Brief