Ukraine Elections Special: Ukraine Under Tymoshenko Would be Headed for Uncharted Waters

Yulia Tymoshenko was the first out of all serious contenders for the Ukrainian Presidential seat to announce her candidacy, which allowed her to swiftly mobilize her supporters. In recent days, however, she was surpassed by the comedian Volodymyr Zelensky and the current President Petro Poroshenko in the election polls and fell from first to third place.

Yulia Tymoshenko began her political career in the times when Ukraine was going through its tumultuous transformation from the Soviet Republic into a sovereign democratic state with a market economy. Tymoshenko proved her political competence on multiple occasions, became PM twice and was one of the standard-bearers of the so-called Orange Revolution. Up to this day, she remains one of the key figures of the Ukrainian political scene.

 

While Tymoshenko has vouched to pursue Ukrainian integration into NATO and the EU, at the same time, one of her main campaign aims goes against policies imposed by the IMF

 

Her campaign summed under the catch-phrase “New Course for Ukraine”, is centred around two main topics – security and economy. She criticizes the current government for Ukraine´s economic situation, that is characterised by high costs of living, caused mainly by the gas prices coupled with low pays and pensions. The economic policies of the Poroshenko administration are, however, largely shaped by the demands of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This fact brings into the light the fundamental contradiction of Tymoshenko´s campaign promises. While she has vouched to pursue Ukrainian integration into NATO and the EU, at the same time, one of her main campaign aims goes against policies imposed by the IMF. However, IMF´s policies ensure the country´s solvency and fulfilling the IMF´s demands is a key step on the road to further integration into Western structures.

Tymoshenko criticises President Poroshenko for his failure to secure peace in Eastern Ukraine. In her campaign, she outlines her “new strategy for peace and security”. The main policy aim in this sphere should be a revision of the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, in which the US, Great Britain and Russia provided Ukraine guarantees of security in exchange for the denuclearization of the country. Tymoshenko seeks to enlist German, French, Chinese and EU support for the memorandum, however, none of these potential members have made moves towards accepting such propositions and Tymoshenko´s plan for peace fails to outline any actual policy decisions, that would bring her closer to fulfilling her aims.  

 

Her campaign is surely ambitious; however, it mostly remains in the realm of pompous proclamations and is short on actual solutions

 

Tymoshenko also seeks to revive diplomatic relations with Russia, however, it is unsure, what implications would such a course of action have for Ukraine. As a member of the Ukrainian parliament, Tymoshenko did not vote for the condemnation of Russia as an aggressor state, the demand for its withdrawal from Donbas or the annulation of the Russo-Ukrainian Treaty of Friendship of 1997.

Tymoshenko is surely a talented politician, however, her Presidential campaign shows signs that there will likely be discrepancies between her rhetoric and actual agenda. Her campaign is surely ambitious; however, it mostly remains in the realm of pompous proclamations and is short on actual solutions. Tymoshenko claiming the Presidential office would bring about a great deal of uncertainty – something, that will be welcomed by the Kremlin, but not by Ukraine´s partners in Europe and likely not even by the Ukrainians themselves.

About author: Petr Fena

Partners

Tento web používá k analýze návštěvnosti soubory cookie. Používáním tohoto webu s tím souhlasíte. Další informace