Recently, deputy chief of the Presidential Secretariat Andriy Kyslynsky accused PM Yulia Tymoshenko of pussyfooting on the Russian invasion of Georgia and lobbying for Russia’s use of the Odesa-Brody pipeline.
He also alleged that Tymoshenko has held secret meetings with pro-Russian power brokers and associates of former President Kuchma on board luxury yachts off Sardinia. It was there that, according to the Presidential Secretariat, she traded Ukraine’s vital interests for the Kremlin’s support, which includes a $1B slush fund for her presidential campaign in 2010.
Watch Tymoshenko’s response.
Such statements by small-time officials do not warrant commentary but, to be honest, they warrant the services of a…well, a good carpenter to have the plaque at the Presidential Secretariat replaced with one that would read "Ward Number Six." Never in my whole life have I been to Sardinia, neither now nor before, and…[giggles]…if the Presidential Secretariat doubts that, they can ask the sardines that swim around Sardinia…[giggles]…and I think that even the sardines will testify that…and they can tell categorically that the Prime Minister hasn’t been there.
Whether honest or not, her answer sounds like a canned joke, doesn’t it?
Even if Tymoshenko did not have secret relations on that island Sardinia, her widely-publicized tandem with Kuchma’s henchman Medvedchuk, a friend of President Medvedev, makes the connection all the more dangerous. In the legendary “Candyman” (2004) video, starring Kuchma, Yanukovych, Medvedchuk and guest-starring Putin and Medvedev, you can find Medvedchuk on Medvedev’s right side.
According to Obozrevatel, which ran a detailed story on Tymoshenko’s vacation, EU intelligence agencies track vessel movement via satellite and share their data with the SBU. That’s how, Obozrevatel says, Tymoshenko’s presence on board luxury yachts that belong to Shufrych and Medvedchuk.
Among the people Tymoshenko met with, Obozrevatel names Dmytro Firtash of RosUkrEnergo, Serhiy Lyovochkin of the Party of Regions, as well as “unidentified Russians that could be prominent entrepreneurs and politicians.”
So what’s in it for Ukraine? Now that President Medvedev-Putin has rubber-stamped the Duma’s recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Crimea could be next on his list. The weaker Ukraine gets, the stronger the temptation to apply the same scenario becomes.
With this cautionary tale in mind, theories regarding "Tymoshenko's treason" range between two possibilities. On the one hand, the Presidential Secretariat may simply be playing the Russian card — in an attempt to resuscitate Yushchenko’s approval ratings. But on the other hand, having an Octopussy run for president would hardly be a bon voyage for Ukraine.
It’s important that Ukrainian politicians and presidential hopefuls unite against the threat of Russian irredentism and remain on the right side.
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