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The 'loss' of Ukraine

The_Penguin

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When it comes to West's influence in the region, it's weaker, but not lost. Here's why:

NATO's Assistant Secretary General Dirk Brengelmann has said in a phone conversation with Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Kostiantyn Yeliseyev that he praises the Ukrainian parliament's decision to allow the military units of foreign states into Ukraine to participate in multinational military exercises in 2010, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's press service informed.

On May 18 the Verkhovna Rada adopted President Viktor Yanukovych's bill authorizing the holding of such international exercises in Ukraine, in which the military units of NATO member states will also participate.

-snip-

NATO satisfied multinational exercises will take place in Ukraine - ForUm

Ukraine has no intention of reducing cooperation with NATO, the country's deputy foreign minister said on Wednesday.

"We are interested in the maintenance of political dialogue with NATO," Kostantyn Yeliseyev told a joint Ukraine-NATO working group on the country's defense program and national security in Kiev.

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Ukraine unwilling to reduce cooperation with NATO | World | RIA Novosti

-snip-

Mr. Yanukovich also lamented that the EU had not responded as quickly as Russia on issues such as the easing of visa restrictions for Ukrainians traveling to the EU, trade with the developed economies of Western Europe and "associate EU membership." In moving into Russia's embrace, Mr. Yanukovich is pleasing both his geopolitical backers in Moscow and the majority pro-Russian constituents who voted for him. However, he is pointedly keeping an outstretched arm to the EU and other Western actors, particularly on energy.

If Western companies and institutions do not take advantage of this opportunity, they will only have themselves to blame when the Kremlin has even more leverage to stop and start energy deliveries to the EU. A number of private-sector actors are holding themselves back from investing in Ukraine because they fear the consequences of getting involved in the country's notoriously corrupt and murky energy sector. But that is where Western institutions, such as the EU and the Energy Community (EC) - Europe's energy reform club - come in.

-snip-

PETERSEN & VAHABOV: Ukraine is not yet lost - Washington Times

Ukraine still like to hold on to NATO. Being openly pro-NATO membership would be political suicide by Yanukovych, but cutting all links is putting on a yoke that says "Made in Russia" on the side of it. Here's what the West (US and EU) don't 'get' about this country (or they do and are unwilling to act.) Yanukovych is not some sort of a master statesman. He's quite terrible at it, actually. His primary goal at the moment is to stabilize the economy and return it to some form of growth (keep the people content.) In order to really have people like him, closer ties to the West are a must. Unlike Yuschenko, he can actually get a few things done (I don't like the guy, but it's largely politics :) .) In order to maintain a link that the West can tug on Ukraine, there needs to be actual results, economic agreements, diplomacy/bureaucratic changes (like the visa 'thing'.) You'll find plenty of people in Sevastopol who get all misty eyed when they think about the motherland... while they or their kids wear jeans, FUBU hoodies and chat on Western-made cellphones. These 'links' to the past are superficial.

Now, based on past efforts, some were good. US gets most of the credit for putting in a damn good effort in building connections between itself and Ukraine. EU offers... talks. And as the saying goes, talk is cheap. Protectionism is this holy grail that Brussels is holding on to as a way to economic growth.

Cheap gas will stave a short/mid-term financial problem, but having a trade worth 50 billion between Ukraine and the West is infinitely worth more to hold on to. At that point it's much easier to force Yanukovych to make reforms, reduce corruption and such.

Look at it this way. The EU is attempting to build the Airbus A-400M military transport plane. It's a sad sight at this point. The cost over-runs, the inability to meet the basic requirements, it's a waste. Say that a number of EU/NATO nations announce that they want 100+ Antonov An-70 planes. These are actual products being shipped out of the country that give it badly needed investment, not simply reducing the price of one commodity that reduces the drain on finances... Case in point, when EUFA complained (and loudly) that Ukraine might not be ready in 2012, everyone in Kiev with power pretty much **** a brick and gears started turning in order to meet the schedules for building stadiums and such. Even under Yanukovych, the Ukrainian government continues to crave connections to the West. And many forget, the closer links to Russia is done out of necessity, not because the _entire_ country is still enamored with Uncle Joe and his little empire.
 

reefedjib

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Does the Ukraine build the Antonov An-70?
 

The_Penguin

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Yes.

The message you have entered is too short. Please lengthen your message to at least 10 characters.
 

bicycleman

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Who makes the Lada because there are a lotta ladas abandoned all over Russian roads?
 

The_Penguin

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Who makes the Lada because there are a lotta ladas abandoned all over Russian roads?

It's made by AutoVAZ, which is located in Togliatti, which is located in Samara Oblast Russia.
 

bicycleman

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It's made by AutoVAZ, which is located in Togliatti, which is located in Samara Oblast Russia.

The reason I ask is that I have a Ukranian immigrant working with me. He mentioned the Lada as being the natioanl car of the Ukraine and all of Russia and an example of what happens when the government makes automobiles. It might run off the showroom floor but is prone to lapses of refusing to start on cold mornings. Hence many are found rusting and abandoned on Russian roads. The only reason they haven't found their way over here is that they can't meet our pollution requirements.
 

The_Penguin

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The reason I ask is that I have a Ukranian immigrant working with me. He mentioned the Lada as being the natioanl car of the Ukraine and all of Russia and an example of what happens when the government makes automobiles. It might run off the showroom floor but is prone to lapses of refusing to start on cold mornings. Hence many are found rusting and abandoned on Russian roads. The only reason they haven't found their way over here is that they can't meet our pollution requirements.

During the soviet times, yes. However, the most prevalent cars tend to be Japanese and South Korean imports. AutoVAZ is pretty much on the verge of bankruptcy and has been saved in the past by 'bailouts' from Moscow. And not just pollution, but safety as well, they're death-traps. Whatever people said about poor quality American cars, Lada takes it to a new level :) .

But how does this crappy car relate to my original theme?
 

bicycleman

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During the soviet times, yes. However, the most prevalent cars tend to be Japanese and South Korean imports. AutoVAZ is pretty much on the verge of bankruptcy and has been saved in the past by 'bailouts' from Moscow. And not just pollution, but safety as well, they're death-traps. Whatever people said about poor quality American cars, Lada takes it to a new level :) .

But how does this crappy car relate to my original theme?

Reefedjib's earlier post made me think of the Lada, especially since i have been playing that Ukranian game, Stalker, Shadow of Chernobyl and the rest of its sequels, and since talking to the Ukranian, I can now see that the game has them well situated all over the roads near Chernobyl.
 

jujuman13

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Reefedjib's earlier post made me think of the Lada, especially since i have been playing that Ukranian game, Stalker, Shadow of Chernobyl and the rest of its sequels, and since talking to the Ukranian, I can now see that the game has them well situated all over the roads near Chernobyl.

With regards to the Lada, a North African country purchased about 13,000 Lada's as part of a trade deal.
They then proceeded to use these vehicles for their National Company's, at the end of some 5 years, the last few Lada's having been made of stripped down pieces of other Lada's finally gave up the ghost and vanished into the great Lada dustbin.

I believe I was at one time a passenger in each of the last 2 in that particular nation.

A few years later I had occasion to visit Russia, I was taken from Moscow down to Togliatti in a brand new Lada, that had just been purchased from Togliatti and driven to Moscow.
The return journey took around 17 hours and gave me my first insight into the rural Russian toiletry system.
It also reinforced my opinion of Russian manufacturing ability.
 
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