Saakashvili’s advice: ‘How to Keep Ukraine's Revolution Alive’ – Politico
24 February, 2014
Saakashvili’s advice: ‘How to Keep Ukraine's Revolution Alive’ – Politico
Former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili and now a senior statesman at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, published an article on the situation on Ukraine in Politico magazine.
“We need to help buffer against Russia’s negative interference by remaining unified in our support of a clear Ukrainian-driven project. Targeted sanctions against specific individuals, family members, and their assets – like those being discussed and implemented by the White House, the U.S. Congress and the European Union, which
are inspired by the Magnitsky Act – can remain important tools to discourage local or outside actors from attempting to derail what comes next.
We need to help prevent retribution and the perversion of justice and facilitate the establishment of a commission that can help find those individuals responsible for the killing of more than 100 Euromaidan protesters, rather than attempting to hold entire political parties or other groups accountable wholesale – a move that would divide the country irreparably.
In recent months, Ukraine has often been referred to as a nation divided. In reality, it is a complex nation within its borders, not a divided one. Ukraine has people of different language and religious and cultural backgrounds to be sure, and its largely aritificial “east/west divide” has been well-exploited by those who stood to gain from this perception. President Putin, afterall, does not believe Ukraine is really a country. But east or west, Ukrainians still believe they are Ukrainians. The new government will need to remember this as it begins its work.
I believe the steps I’ve suggested will sustain Ukraine’s revolution and allow for transformational reform to begin. Reforms must be sweeping and genuine – innovative to address the specific concerns of the Ukrainian people, deep and broad to prevent cascading crises that will alienate the public. The newly elected leadership must use the trust placed in it by the people to quickly conduct reforms that will:
• Restore a balance of power between branches of government and create accountability to the people;
• Fix parliament as a first step toward creating non-corrupt institutions that will be essential for overseeing reform;
• Ensure economic and political transitions are occurring in unison;
• Work tirelessly to visibly end corruption – in addition to this being a clear demand from the people, it is also a highly practical measure: Money needs to go where it is needed or it will be an obstacle for all reforms; and,
• Build an inclusive state where Ukraine’s diverse groups feel protected, represented and invested in the future – and ensure that the process of governance and reform is equally inclusive.
These steps will be a critical guarantee of trust that will buy time for all that needs to come next. Consolidating a revolution is a very difficult and often unappreciated process, and, as I have learned, leaving hard issues for “better times” can undermine efforts and corrupt the whole idea and legacy of reform. The public’s perception of progress must match the reality that the government is building, and the government needs to stay in touch with their concerns. Ukraine’s new leadership needs to be committed to what they are building and understand that this legacy must live beyond their place in it.
Ukraine, Russia and the West
Russian leaders see Ukraine – and indeed all the countries along their periphery – as their exclusive zone of interest in a zero-sum game vis-à-vis the West. This is because they have the same problem of vantage point with their neighbors as they do at home – they forget to see the people inside the borders. The rest of us should see Ukraine not as a battle to gain or lose one country, but as a fight about whether to allow 46 million people to determine their own future or not.
The United States has invested much since World War II in the modern European project – a vision of a Europe whole, free and at peace. Current economic challenges aside, the success of this endeavor over the past 70 years has been staggering.
But now Ukraine has become the first country where people died while waving the flag of the European Union they hoped to join. The people of Ukraine deserve better, and their blood has earned it.
This is not to say Russian help cannot be welcomed if it is positive. To say the Russians have no role in what comes next would be falling prey to their own zero-sum rhetoric. But the upcoming G-8 summit in Sochi must be used to send President Vladimir Putin a clear and unified message on the parameters of his engagement in Ukraine going forward. Any steps that directly or indirectly undermine Ukrainian statehood, territorial integrity or its right to freely choose its future cannot be allowed.
Russia has always overestimated its leverage over the West, as much as the West underestimated its real power toward Russia. It is high time to balance this equation.
The West should not be afraid to show unity to defend the free choice of 46 million people and allow them a better future. Following the G-8 summit, the EU should meet and offer Ukraine a clear road map to membership that will help guide reforms, and help contextualize them for the Ukrainian people.
If Ukraine doesn’t go right, or falls irreparably out of the European orbit, or does not gain material aid from the West after fighting for the right to aspire to membership in that club – no other formerly captive Soviet nation really has a shot. Certainly not Georgia or Moldova – both only a fraction of the size of Ukraine’s population. These states can remain in a gray zone between Europe and everywhere else, popping up now and then with humanitarian, security and economic crises that keep Europe from resting easy very long – or we can end this cycle once and for all by admitting we do have an interest in these places and that their identity matters to us. That we can see beyond problematic elites to the people themselves.
The peoples of the former Soviet states at the periphery of Europe are watching for how we act next to empower the aspirations of the people of Ukraine, as are those in the Caucasus and even those in Central Asia.
And so are the 143 million people of one other post-Soviet state – Russia. For years, Russians have been hounded with the daily propaganda that Slavic orthodox nations are fundamentally incompatible with pluralistic democracy. Russians consider themselves close kin to Ukrainians, and a successful revolution in Ukraine will change not only how Russians see Ukraine and Ukrainians, but how they see themselves, and their own free choice for their future,” artice by Mikheil Saakashvili reads.

Related Stories:

Saakashvili’s emotional address to Ukrainians from Maidan


Saakashvili talks about Ukraine on Fox News
Print
Other Stories
Tbilisi hosts 8th ordinary session of Euronest Parliamentary Assembly
The 8th ordinary session of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly - "Future Visions of the Eastern Partnership" has opened in Tbilisi.
Unrest in Mtskheta – Georgian dream activists attack opposition
During the opposition rally outside Mtskheta City Hall, supporters of the opposition and the Georgian Dream clashed with each other several times.
Surrounded Parliament and demonstrators – Police distracted protesters from picketing parliament in Tbilisi
Police had been blocking entrances to the parliament with metal structures since morning. Patrol Police Chief Vazha Siradze said the metal barricades have been installed due to security reasons.
Riot police used water cannons to disperse protesters in front of Parliament
The riot police used water cannons against the protesters gathered in front of the Parliament building in Tbilisi.
Parliament picket planned on November 26
Picketing is certainly not the best solution. Like what is happening in the streets is not good,
How to deal with Russia’s Hybrid Warfare?
How to deal with Russia’s Hybrid Warfare?
Riot police started to disperse protesters near the Georgian Parliament
Riot police appeared on Chitadze Street in the vicinity of the Government’s Administration building. They were brought by yellow buses there.
Georgian parliament picketed, demonstrations still going on
Building of the Georgian parliament is picketed, every entrance is blocked by the protesters and MPs cannot enter the building.
Disappointment over failure about constitutional amendment in the US, PACE
The Parliament has rejected the bill on constitutional amendments relating to the electoral system yesterday.
Georgian Parliament did not support transition to the proportional electoral system
The Parliament has rejected the bill on constitutional amendments relating to the electoral system in the first reading.
Interview with the US Charge d'Affairs Elizabeth Rood
Ministry of Defence of Georgia hosts the 13th annual Georgia Defence and Security Conference (GDSC) 2019 in Batumi, Hotel Hilton.
Adam Kinzinger speaks about bipartisan support to Georgia at GDSC
Republicans and Democrats disagree in many things but we are united when it has to do with Georgia,
Georgia Defence and Security Conference opened in Batumi
Georgia is hosting the 13th Georgia Defence and Security Conference (GDSC) in Batumi on Wednesday.
German ambassador to Georgia calls for Tskhinvali and Moscow to learn the lessons of the Berlin Wall
It would be good for those in charge in Tskhinvali and Moscow to learn the lessons of the Berlin Wall,
Bidzina Ivanishvili is ready to sell Panorama Tbilisi project
I am ready to hand over the project to interested businessmen at any stage,
US House of Representatives passes bipartisan Georgia Support Act
The United States House of Representatives has passed the bipartisan Georgia Support Act,
Georgian MFA concerned over “illegal process of borderization”
The Georgian Foreign Ministry expressed concern over the renewed illegal process of installing artificial barriers and barbed wire fences at the occupation line in the village of Atotsi, Kareli Municipality.
German President arrives in Tbilisi, welcomes dialogue between Georgian, Russian FMs
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier welcomes resumption of dialogue between Georgia and Russia at the level of Foreign Ministers.
Rose Gottemoeller visits Georgia
This visit is an opportunity to deepen and strengthen our cooperation with Georgia even further.
Georgia needs to find peace to evolve, former Swiss ambassador says
One year before the elections the former Swiss ambassador Lukas Beglinger is sure that the country will soon face big changes.
Georgian MP slaps colleague, an argument erupts in the Parliament
Eka Beselia, the lawmaker who left the Georgian Dream party, hit majority MP Vano Zardiashvili at the sitting of the Legal Issues Committee.
Georgia will use all available means to rise up to the new Russian challenge, says Foreign Ministry Spokesperson
Georgia will use all available means to give a proper assessment and to stop Russia doing such things, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Vladimir Konstantinid said
Swiss State Secretary: “Georgia is safe, we do not grant asylum”
2500 Georgians have sought asylum in Switzerland since 2016. Not one request has been granted. Now Switzerland wants Georgia to tackle irregular migration.
"Georgia has a long way to go in Tourism"
Because of the booming tourism industries, the Georgian government starts to implement regulations. “But this happens not fast enough, not efficient enough and not rigorous enough”, says Stefan Meister from the Heinrich Böll Stiftung.
Former US diplomat Matthew Bryza discusses Georgia, NATO membership and Trump’s presidency with GJ
How can we explain the statement made by the former Secretary-General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rassmussen about the possibility for Georgia to join NATO?
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
07.12.2019
08.12.2019
USD
1
USD
2.9466
2.9466
EUR
1
EUR
3.2690
3.2690
GBP
1
GBP
3.8683
3.8683
RUB
100
RUB
4.6218
4.6218
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.9466
EUR
1
EUR
3.2690
GBP
1
GBP
3.8683
RUB
100
RUB
4.6218
December 2019
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31