- Janoekovytsj als president: heeft een 'poetinisering' van Oekraïne kans van slagen?
- Internationale Spectator
- Number of pages
- Issue number
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR)
Early 2010 in Ukraine the rule of the Orange team came to an end, when Victor Yanukovych, Victor Yushchenko’s great rival during the Orange Revolution of 2004, was elected President. After Yushchenko’s pro-Western foreign policy, one of his first steps was an agreement with Russia allowing this country to maintain its Black Sea fleet in the Ukrainian port of Sebastopol until at least 2042, in exchange for a 30 percent gas price discount for Ukraine. The Ukrainian ambition to join NATO was also abandoned. The pursuit of European integration, however, was continued, and Yanukovych dismissed Ukrainian membership of a Russia-dominated customs union.
He strengthened presidential power, starting legal proceedings against Yushchenko’s former ally, ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and other oppositionists. Local elections in the autumn of 2010 showed many defects, and Ukrainian freedom of the press, much praised since the Orange Revolution, came under pressure again.
Yanukovych argues that the concentration of power is necessary in order to introduce much-needed reforms. According to critics, however, so far these reforms have failed to occur. They predict that by his aspired "Putinisation" of Ukraine, Yanukovych might provoke another popular movement.
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