Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Why are we supporting a Ukraine Government with far-right ministers?

Why are we giving what amounts to unqualified support to Ukraine when its Government contains six members of a far-right party? see

The 'Svoboda' (Freedom) Party is a barely reconstructed neo-Nazi party whose leadership has a strong anti-Semitic past. I, along with most people in the West, oppose the Russian invasion of Crimea, but does that justify giving 100 per cent backing to a partly far-right Government? In the matter of policy substance, does this Government have a good record so far in promoting national reconciliation? I doubt this, and I do not see how it is going to succeed with its make-up.

It was in 2000 that the EU struggled with the crisis in Austria when a far-right party (also called 'Freedom') entered a coalition Government. There were even diplomatic sanctions imposed on Austria for a few months for that. There was controversy about the sanctions policy in the EU, but at least the EU did not appear to actually give the Government support! See

But how things have now changed. Far right parties on the march across Europe, including the Roma-baiting 'Jobbik' in Hungary and a resurgent 'Freedom Party' in Austria. And it seems the EU does not object too much to the make-up of the Government in Ukraine.....

I must say, whilst I was appalled by the undemocratic tendencies of the Yanukovich Government which fell last month, I was worried when I saw the first pictures of the protestors 'protecting' the Ukrainian Parliament after Yanukovich was voted out of office. This action, which undermined the agreement which had been signed a few hours earlier was indeed a revolutionary one, but revolutions often lack legitimacy. A power vacuum is created into which extremist forces step and seize power. Perhaps we should remind ourselves about the French revolution. The French Parliament, the Convention, was elected and also 'protected' by the revolutionaries who had stormed the Bastille. But these revolutionaries came to be known as the 'mob', and the French Government became associated with ever more repressive measures......

Now I don't wish to attack the many ordinary and liberal minded people who formed protests against the Yanukovich regime and who camped out in Maidan Square. But amongst their number are less savoury political tendencies who have now captured part of the Government. Yes, let us condemn the Russian action, but let us have some criticism also of the questionable credentials of people in the Government of the Ukraine. That way also, perhaps, helps us move towards a hope of peaceful resolution of the crisis.

No comments:

Post a Comment