The Non-paper of the 2nd Ukraine Reality Check

Apr 3, 2015 | 2015, News

Following the 2nd Ukraine Reality Check held in October 2014 in Kyiv, Ukraine, a non-paper containing analysis and policy advice on the latest political, security, economic, and social developments in Ukraine has been released. The analysis is download free and can be accessed here.

The future of post-Maidan Ukraine lies in the political will and competence of the country leadership to undertake necessary structural reforms – the biggest objective of the Maidan.  Part of this effort should be to stabilise the situation in the war-torn region of Donbas, the framework for which is outlined in the Minsk agreements. However, now that the fighting has decreased substantially, it seems that the official Kyiv is not seriously considering re-integrating the rebellious part of Donbas back into Ukraine. This is at least suggested by its reluctance to engage in a political dialogue with the current rebel leaders.

Two elections – the presidential election in May 2014 and the parliamentary election in October 2014 – provided the government with a much-needed legitimacy and mandate to launch Western-style reforms. Yet, a year after Maidan, those unfulfilled reform promises are raising concerns about the future of Ukraine. While Maidan “eliminated” Viktor Yanukovych and brought down the central authority, the previous oligarchs-based governance system was more or less restored. Nevertheless, active citizens’ participation in all politics and mobilisation for a Ukrainian identity, partly in reaction to Russia-supported separatists’ efforts to destabilise eastern Ukraine, have created a framework for more substantial and systemic changes.

While Ukraine is now receiving increased Western support and engagement, expectations should be managed by the assumption that any structural changes will entail a slow and painful process for all actors engaged. Ukraine’s fronts are numerous: the pause in Donbas fighting after the Minsk agreements should be used to modernise state institutions, boost the economy, reduce endemic corruption and launch a realistic and inclusive decentralisation process that would further tame separatists’ efforts and may eventually bring the separatist-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk back to Ukraine.

More about the Ukraine Reality Check initiative please see here.

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