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
Other Stories
Russian MFA Statement About Lugar Research Center-Another Disinformation
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia responds to the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry regarding Lugar's laboratory.
UN Human Rights Council Adopts Resolution On Occupied Territories Of Georgia
The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on the occupied territories of Georgia - "Cooperation with Georgia" within the framework of its 43rd session.
Kurt Volker about 20th of June: People Can’t Forget That
Given that one year has passed since June 20, 2019, it is interesting to see how the West assesses the developments in Georgia during this one year and what expectations it has for the October parliamentary elections.
Eastern Partnership Beyond 2020- Context and Expectations
The Eastern Partnership (EaP) marked its 10th anniversary in 2019. The round dates always come with reflections and new resolutions for the future.
"8 March Agreement Is Very important For Georgian Democracy"-Carl Hartzell
The 8th March agreement concerned not only the change in the electoral system but justice and the impermissibility of political partiality in electoral processes, - stated the Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia, Carl Hartzell during his video broadcast.
Donald Trump Congratulates Georgia on Independence Day
The President of the United States of America Donald Trump sent a letter of congratulations to the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia on Independence Day.
US Ambassador Congratulating Georgia on the Independence Day
US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan has congratulated Georgia on the Independence Day.
Georgia's President Warns Covid-19 Crisis Could Trigger Russian Aggression
Georgia’s president has warned that Russia’s struggle to contain the spread of coronavirus and an economic crisis compounded by an oil price collapse risk is triggering new Kremlin aggression beyond its borders, - reads an article published by Financial Times.
Creation of Maps Violating Georgia's Territorial Integrity To be Considered Illegal
Production, advertising, use, and transportation of maps and other objects reflecting the violation of the principle of territorial integrity of Georgia will be considered as an illegal act.
Turkey Starts Accepting Health Tourists From Georgia
Turkey has started accepting foreign patients from several countries, including from Georgia.
Georgia Has The Greatest Support In the World From EU-Carl Hartzell
A true friend is known to be in trouble, and we have proved that we are true friends, ”-EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzel said during an online meeting with members of the European Business Association.
The EU Council Has Approved a Package of Financial Assistance to Georgia
The Council of the European Union (EU) has approved a package of emergency macro-financial assistance for 10 countries as part of its Neighborhood and Enlargement Policy.
The US Ambassador Stresses The Importance of Fair Judiciary System
We would like to see more American companies invest in Georgia and more Georgian companies in the United States said US Ambassador Kelly Degnan during a virtual press conference.
"One More Political Prisoner Is Still Waiting To Be Released"-McAllister
The MEPs expressed their opinions about the political situation in Georgia at the discussion of the report on the implementation of the Association Agreement between the EU and Georgia.
Promoting Georgia As a Safe Destination For Tourism
“Georgia – a safe destination” is a message that Georgian diplomats should send to people in their countries, - Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia said while talking to Georgian ambassadors abroad via a video conference today.
UN To Allocate USD 1 Million To Support COVID-19 Crisis in Georgia
The United Nations will allocate USD 1 million for Georgia to help the country better respond to the immediate health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and protect the most vulnerable groups from the devastating socio-economic impacts of the health crisis.
U.S. Senators Express Concern Over The Expulsion of American Businesses From Georgia
U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, Congressmen Judy Arrington, and Markwayne Mullin have written to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, expressing concern over the expulsion of U.S. companies and businesses from Georgia.
European Parliament Approves €150 Million Aid For Georgia
The European Parliament on Friday approved €3 billion in loans to help EU neighbors and partner countries deal with the fallout of COVID-19.
MEPs and U.S Senators Welcome the Pardon of Opposition Politicians
Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili announced yesterday that she was pardoning Georgian opposition politicians Gigi Ugulava and Irakli Okruashvili, which she said was ‘a very difficult decision’.
The Presidency of the Council of Europe of Georgia Received a High Assessment
According to the Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, the presidency of the Council of Europe of Georgia had a very high assessment at the international level.
Coronavirus Crisis is an Opportunity to Deepen Relations With the EU-Salome Zourabichvili
The President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili talked to the President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö on March 14.
Greece to Take Over On Georgia's Chairmanship of CoE Committee of Ministers
The Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe will officially be transferred from Georgia to Greece today.
Disinformation and COVID-19
In an era of COVID-19 disinformation is becoming a tool for some states as a political leverage. Political scientist Giorgi Gobronidze explains why the issue matters.
Exclusive interview with Israeli ambassador to Georgia
Israel's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Georgia, Ran Gidor, has been in Tbilisi for only a few months.
GEL Exchange Rate
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
July 2020
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