Ukraine’s stance against global populism

It is just over two and a half years that President Poroshenko is in office, half of his first term to put it differently. During this time, Ukraine has seen war and economical recession unfolding and has been threatened in many ways. But as the war in the east is raging on at a minimum level and the economy is recovering, new clouds are gathering ahead.

Inside the country the complexity of the situation as well as friction and grid lock inside the political system have caused many reform oriented politicians to resign from their position. Recently Mr. Saakashvili1, former president of Georgia, has resigned from his position as the governor of the Odesa region. While Saakashvili has earned much criticism in the western countries and is wanted in Georgia, he is known in Ukraine for his vocal stance against corruption and the political elite as well as for pushing through tough reforms in Georgia during his presidential term. Subsequently to his resignation he now organises rallies around the country, vocally and loudly condemning the current government and entire political establishment and calling for early elections. With this populistic rhetoric he is joining Julia Tymoshenko, the leader of the “Batkivshchyna” (ukr: motherland) party, who herself has become more and more populistic in recent past, protesting necessary reforms and attempting to sway voters through unrealistic promises, such as immediate joining of NATO and EU2.

On the international stage the situation isn’t developing in favour of Ukraine either. The election of Donald Trump as the next president of the USA has created an enormous uncertainty among the Ukrainian politicians and public. At the same time the Russian administration is openly offering a reset in the Russian-American relations3, hoping to solidify its claim over Crimea and its campaign in eastern Ukraine. President-elect Trump is not the only (possible) future leader, who could create a nightmare scenario for Ukraine. The upcoming elections in France could see Mr. Fillion or even Mrs. Le Pen, both of which are rather friendly towards Russia, become the future president of France4.

President Poroshenko has survived war and recession in Ukraine, but now faces like so many other western leaders the global epidemic of populism and its consequences both inside and outside of his country. But despite those uncertainties one thing remains true: it is an interesting time for Ukraine.

 

Sources:

1:http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/08/world/europe/mikheil-saakashvili-resigns-ukraine.html?_r=0 (Accessed on 12.12.16 12:34)

2:http://ba.org.ua/programm/ (Accessed on 12.12.16 12:41)

3:http://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-37928171 (Accessed on 12.12.16 12:45)

4:http://www.dw.com/en/is-francois-fillon-of-france-putins-preferred-presidential-candidate/a-36579170 (Accessed in 12.12.16 12:49)

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