War and reform: memorable than 2017 for the former Soviet Union

In the past 2017, some countries of the former USSR could boast of having hosted the peaceful elections and economic reforms, while others remain silent about the ongoing civil war and the conflict between the Parliament and the President. Who and what is the difference in the year of the Fire Rooster, “MK” told the experts.


photo: kremlin.ru

Democracy in action

Major events in the Eurasian economic Union were the parliamentary elections in Armenia and presidential — in Kyrgyzstan.

In the Caucasian Republic, the result was predictable: he won the ruling party and the Pro-European opposition in the face of EFC slightly strengthened its position. Therefore, despite the fact that in 2018, after the presidential elections, Armenia will become a parliamentary Republic, no major changes in her life is not expected. However, at the end of 2017 Yerevan signed with the European Union expanded cooperation agreement, so 2018 innovations bring Armenians.

But in Central Asia the situation was not peaceful. In the presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan were two favorites: Ouzbek Babanov and Sooronbai Jeenbekov. Both were the Prime Ministers of the Republic, but supported the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, and the second Kyrgyz leader Almazbek Atambayev. The latter wanted so much to transfer power to his successor, said the attempted coup and accused his Kazakh counterpart to the usurpation of power and the oppression of their own people. However, the winning Jeenbekov first said he wants to be friends with Kazakhstan.

As told “MK” the analyst program of Russian and Eurasian Affairs “Chatham house” Stanislav Pritchin, whatever it was, for Russia, none of it threatening, and 2017, in General, passed to her quietly:

— For Russia 2017 was generally calm. She lost nothing, and but has not made any breakthroughs in relations with its neighbours. At the same time in early December to the surprise of many, we came close to a settlement of the status of the Caspian sea. The relevant Ministerial meeting took place in Moscow and its results were agreed upon Convention, which will be signed in six months.

As for the EAEU, then the most important event of 2017 was the presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan. At first, the winner of the presidential race it was very difficult to predict. The opposition candidate, Atambaev is well prepared for the election campaign, enlisted the support of the President of Kazakhstan and so on. But in the end, including through the efforts of the state, he won the election Jeenbekov.

Thus after the elections in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan were cut short by the conflict and started to create all conditions for discharge. As you know, besides the fact that Atambayev could not find a common language with Nazarbayev, Astana has also been a lot of complaints about Bishkek because of the “gray” imports from China. There is now an opportunity to resolve all disputed issues.

As for Armenia, here the most important event were the parliamentary elections, the winners of which eventually formed the government. Let me remind you, once the current term of President Serzh Sargsyan will come to an end, Armenia will become a parliamentary Republic. In addition, an interesting precedent was the signing of an agreement on expansion of cooperation with the EU, but expect him to a breakthrough is not worth it. Yerevan is far from the European market and will not be able to engage in trade with the countries of the West as it does, for example, Georgia, which has sea ports and the possibility of trade via Turkey.

Uzbek tale

One of the major events of 2016 in the former Soviet Union became the death of President Islam Karimov and the election in his place Shavkat Mirziyoyev. We all thought then that a new leader, and his colleagues from Turkmenistan and Tajikistan will strengthen the regime of personal power, but instead he announced the beginning of large-scale liberal reforms. What he has accomplished in the past year, “MK” said Stanislav Pritchin:

— The main supplier of good news in Central Asia can rightly be called Uzbekistan. The Republic implements a plan to enter the markets of neighboring States really is not going to join the EEU, as Tashkent says that he is quite satisfied with the arrangements which operate in the framework of the CIS. Instead, it has attracted investors from China and Western countries. Anyway, according to official statistics, the total trade of Uzbekistan with its neighbors for the first 9 months of 2017 increased on average by 20%, and Kyrgyzstan — all on 70%. This year, Shavkat Mirziyoev has made 7 important visits abroad, including USA, China, South Korea and Russia. The success of Tashkent is a good sign for Central Asia, as Uzbekistan is a pivotal state for the region.


Russian-Belarusian military exercises “West-2017” scare Europe. Photo: enewz.ru

Belarusian economic miracle

In the past year between Belarus and Russia has died down once oil and food wars, which, despite its length, is not able to launch strategic relations between the two States appreciable harm. Minsk continues to support Moscow in the issue of Crimea, participates in joint ventures with its military exercises that are unpleasant to the West, and so on. What achievements in 2017 boasts Belarus, “MK” told the Minsk political scientist Alexander Shpakovsky:

— The main event for Belarus in 2017 was the signing by President Alexander Lukashenko of the decree about the development of the IT industry. Our government managed to build quite a profitable sector, whose income at the end of the year will exceed $ 1 billion, which is comparable with the income, for example, BelAZ. Now we can say that the legislative base of Belarus in the IT sphere is the most adequate in the former Soviet space. In addition, we create parks of IT-technologies that are even more successful those that exist in Russia.

It should be recognized that our main customers are the countries of Western Europe and the USA, and we do not sell the end product. Therefore, we would like to in the framework of the Eurasian integration have also formed a Bank of IT-services customers.

In addition, the Belarusian economy shows growth rates of 2-3%. Since 2008 the country is in crisis, but the current results suggest that we rebuilt. The future makes us cautious optimism.

With regard to foreign policy, in fact, Minsk is Moscow in the Union state, the Eurasian economic Union and the CSTO, and towards the West are only negotiations on the conclusion of a basic agreement on partnership. The only positive in the West direction has been made in 2015, when the us lifted sanctions. But between the U.S. and Belarus is still no full-fledged diplomatic representation. So all this talk that the Minsk allegedly poised between East and West, are nonsense.

Of course, Belarus wants to adjust its foreign policy. In particular, the need to achieve the same partnership agreement with the European Union, which operates between the EU and Russia, and to achieve simplification of the visa regime. Today Belarusians are forced to pay 60 euros for the right to visit European Union is discrimination. For its part, Minsk already has simplified rules for visiting Europeans-site.

Moldova is torn

One of the main events in Moldova in 2017 was the opposition of the head of state Igor Dodon and Pro-Western Parliament and government. The presidential elections held at the end of 2016, became the first the first world Cup in 20 years. To the surprise of many experts, won them the Pro-Russian candidate.

People who planned to move to the East and rapprochement with Moscow, is in an unenviable position. Dodon bound hand and foot by the Parliament, most of whom are supporters of European integration of the Republic. Coupled with the people’s elected representatives against the President is the government, headed by Paul Philip. And it would seem that the issue of the unrecognized Transnistria the parties should reach a consensus, but here the speaker of Parliament Andrian CANDU and Philip ahead of Dodona in some cases, to use the terminology of the race. The government and Parliament of Moldova is so far ahead immobilized Dodon, not having virtually no levers of control that is likely to win the handicap President will not succeed.

The last statement of the head of Moldova that the government of the Republic intends to withdraw from the CIS, have conclusively demonstrated the helplessness of the national leader, which increasingly resembles the Queen, acting solely fictitious role in public policy. Though Dodon promised that will not leave the country from the CIS, but, given recent events, it is hard to believe.

According to the Moldovan political scientist Igor TULYANTSEVA, Dodon himself some steps digging its own grave:

— Last year for the Moldovan people can be described as a year of dashed hopes, which were connected with the dismantling of the current oligarchic regime. Hope was primarily associated with the Dodon, positioning himself as the chief friend of Russia. People even took to illegal presidential election, supporting him. When the socialist leader became President, and his socialist party took almost a quarter of the Parliament, the country froze in anticipation of a miracle. However, it did not happen, because the real fight against anti-people power is much more difficult than to agree with her.

All the crimes of the last years took place under the banner of European integration, which from the financial system of the Republic was stolen 1 billion euros. It was under this banner swept the country of total corruption, was destroyed system of education, science and medicine, but the main crime of the regime is the emigration of the working population. The government can thank the West for a collective total support to fight against Russia. In this sense, the socialist leader and the party became a convenient target that instead of fighting with the current regime only play the role of whipping boys. In any case, the current oligarchic government is demonstrating to the West that keeps the country under control, and sometimes mocks Dodon and his supporters. Such lawlessness was not even at the Frank presidents Russophobia. This situation is completely satisfied with the current government.

If someone has a hope to change the situation after the parliamentary elections in 2018, I want to reassure them. As the party of socialists and Democrats led by Vladimir Plahotniuc voted to change the electoral system, then they will win the party at least hostile to Russia. In fact, the socialists led by Dodon expose the shoulders of the current oligarchic regime.

Is there an alternative to the “Minsk-2”?

Ukraine is beset by civil war, and did not budge on the issue of implementation of the Minsk agreements. American curator Square Kurt Volker recently said that 2017 was the most violent and bloody in the Donbass in the history of the conflict. However, apart from big words, no real action since his appointment never happened. Kiev continues all sorts of ways to “freeze” the “Minsk-2”. Troops are still on the frontline, numerous of the armistice, including his latest, Christmas, not observed by the parties, and the Ukrainian Parliament did not even raise the question of vesting of the DND and LNR autonomy.

Moreover, the year of the Fire Rooster was marked by stagnation, if not degradation, in terms of fulfillment of agreements reached by the “Normandy four”. Ukrainian military from the Joint centre for control and coordination were not allowed to work with Russian colleagues that resulted in the withdrawal of domestic observers. As a result, now no one ensures the safety of OSCE mission members: as they say, the rescue of drowning — the handiwork of drowning. Plus stirs the degree of the conflict is the fact that the United States approved the delivery of different types of weapons, like sniper rifles and anti-tank missiles.

Director of the Institute for peace initiatives and conflict Denis DENISOV believes that to put an end to the “Minsk-2” before the

— At the end of 2016 had high hopes this year regarding the implementation of the Minsk agreements and the end of the conflict in the East of Ukraine. This was due to the presidential elections in the US, but in the end they yielded no positive dynamics that could positively affect the situation. In fact, with the appointment of Volcker addressing issues in many areas, only deteriorated. From his speeches you can see that our American partners are not interested in ending the conflict and put pressure on Ukraine.

The best example is that Washington will begin deliveries of weapons Kiev. It is noteworthy that the weapons are not purely defensive in nature — it can be used in the attack. Moreover, Volcker said that the U.S. should supply Ukraine with any weapons they need to confront with Russia. This position is expected to perform “Minsk-2” is very difficult, and the elections in France and Germany in fact turned these countries of the “Normandy format”. The Minsk agreements have become hostage to many political processes, and is also included in the scope of relations between the US and Russia.

Taking into account the position of Washington can be stated that there is a Frank sabotage the Minsk agreements by Ukraine. However, this is not the end: perhaps after the presidential elections in Russia will be a new fundamental initiatives so you first need to wait until March this year.

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