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21.01.2014

Ukrainian politologist: Yanukovych fears conflict with West

14:54, — Europa

Ukrainian politologist: Yanukovych fears conflict with West

Western sanctions are the only thing to stop the Ukrainian authorities.

Volodymyr Fesenko, the director of the centre for political studies Penta, spoke to charter97.org about the latest events in Kyiv.

Direct negotiations between the representatives of the authorities and opposition are needed now more than round-table discussions. Arrangements suppose such negotiations. Time will show if they are effective. The very fact of agreeing on negotiations is positive, because there have been no talks since December 1, the beginning of the crisis. The round-table discussion in the middle of December looked more like an imitation of a dialogue, the politologist is confident.

The expert notes the clashes were caused by a new conflict situation.

The laws of a police state by its essence and content adopted illegally by the Verkhovna Rada in a conflict situation acted like a catalyst. They were clearly aimed at the pro-EU protests. They became a legislative baton provoking new wave of political escalation. On the other hand, yesterday's clashes on the square were a reaction of the part of protesters that didn't want to continue peaceful protests and wanted active measures. This is the part of protesters that opposition was unable to control. This is the result of several factors. By the way, the brutal laws were forecast to stir up radical protests moods. It happened. These are local actions, as most part of protesters don't participated in the clashes. The current situation gives a chance for a rather peaceful outcome, he supposes.

The politologist adds many Ukrainians speak about the Belarusian scenario. There's a risk of it.

However, I don't think the laws will be applied in full force in the near future. The laws are likely to be applied selectively. Even the evening events and today's continuation show the authorities are not ready for a tough decisive attack. They avoid it for different reasons probably understanding the risk of a large-scale civil conflict. Vitali Klitschko said it yesterday at a meeting with Yanukovych. But writing the laws is one matter and applying them is a different matter. I think Yanukovych, unlike Lukashenka, fears to have a conflict with the West. The authorities don't risk crossing the red line. That's why the situation remains uncertain, the expert summed up.

We remind that protesters, among them radical activists, went to picket the Verkhovna Rada after the ninth people's meeting. They met the police near the Lobanovsky Stadium. Clashes between radical activists and the police started. Protesters began to set police vehicles on fire. The police used water cannons and rubber bullets. Both sides are reported to have scores of injured people. The US and the EU called to start negotiations involving all sides to solve the political conflict, consider the demands of the protesters and prevent the escalation of violence. President Viktor Yanukovych suggested holding a round-table discussion with opposition representatives.

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