Continuation of Western sanctions on Russia increasingly depends on Ukraine, Ohryzko says

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (L) speaks with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk during a session of the National Council of Reforms in Kyiv on Sept. 18, 2015. (Image: Andrew Kravchenko/UNIAN) 

International, More, Ukraine

The maintenance of Western sanctions is contingent upon Ukraine’s willingness to reform itself, according to former Ukrainian foreign minister Volodymyr Ohryzko. If Ukraine does not act, the West will ultimately lift the sanctions; and Ukraine will have only itself to blame for its resulting isolation.

Volodymyr Ohryzko, Ukrainian foreign minister 2007 to 2009

Volodymyr Ohryzko, Ukrainian foreign minister 2007 to 2009

In a commentary today, the diplomat argues that the West is ready “to forgive us a very great deal, both in regard to the Minsk process and to questions related to it, if we demonstrate in our domestic policy good tempo, real changes and so on. Unfortunately, this isn’t happening.”

“The West is terribly afraid of a repetition of the situation of 2005 when such dissension led to the loss of all the achievements of the Maidan. Alas, this too influences the attitude of the West toward Russia, which has not missed a chance to cover Ukraine with dirt, to say that we are failures and incapable of living without administration from the outside.”

Moscow, of course, “wants this external administration to come from Moscow and not Washington or Brussels,” Ohryzko adds. But both because of Ukrainian slowness and Moscow’s propaganda effort, “pessimism about the future possibilities of Ukraine is growing in the West,” and thus more questions are being raised about lifting sanctions against Russia.

“If Ukraine itself does not want to take a tough line, then the question logically arises in the West as to why it should be more Catholic than the pope and do everything for [Ukrainians],” the Kyiv diplomat says. “Alas, this tendency is appearing ever more clearly in recent times.”

But he concludes on a more optimistic note saying that sanctions will continue for a time; but “this extension cannot be infinite without active moves by Ukraine. If reforms, the struggle with corruption and genuine Ukrainian sanctions against Russia don’t occur, then the currently expected extension of sanctions may be the last.”


Edited by: A. N.

Dear readers! We need your help. COVID-19 has hit independent media outlets hard, but even more so in Ukraine, where most outlets are controlled by oligarchs. To make matters worse, several English-language media sources from Ukraine have closed recently. And even worse, this comes at a time of troubling government tendencies and amid a pro-Russian resurgence in Ukraine.  Help keep us online and reporting on the most important of Ukrainian issues for you in these troubling times, bringing the voices of civic society to the forefront of the information war. Our articles are free for everyone to use but we depend on our readers to keep going.  We are a small independent journalist team on a shoestring budget and have no political or state affiliation. If you like what you see, please support us with a donation

Tags: , , , , , , ,