Leanid Zlotnikau: "Without Ukraine, EAEC has no particular sense"


During the international OSCE/ODIHR forum in Warsaw "Belarusian analytical workshop" held a working meeting devoted to Ukraine. 

In addition to national experts: professor of sociology Andrey Vardamatsky, economist Leanid Zlotnikau, political analyst Pavel Usau, the discussion was attended by prominent Ukrainian sociologist Irina Byakeshkina who shared research of such new geopolitical thing as Novorossiya, the prerequisites for which the researcher, in particular, sees in Evromaidan times. 

Irina Byakeshkina: "Evromaidan was another factor that divided Ukraine. According to our research, which took place in December, just during Evromaidan, it was supported by 50% of the population, 42% did not support it. And these 42%, of course, are from east and south, but it is necessary to add that there 30% of the population supported Evromaidan, and it's not a small part."

The sociologist added that there appeared an illusion of the existence of Russian-oriented South-East, Novorossiya. This is eight Russian-speaking areas plus Crimea. The population of these regions is supposedly just waiting when Russia will annex them. 

Moreover, we must not forget that the processes of separatism began not only in Donbas, they were in Kharkov, Odessa, Nikolaev. The researcher recalls captured administration buildings, it was done along the same lines as in Donbas. The only thing that differed was that in these regions these processes were not stopped by the police, which was inactive, not security forces, of which in fact there was not, but the people who organized themselves. Plus there was no military support of Russia and pretty quickly everything bogged down. 

Researcher drew attention to the extent to which it is justified to speak of a single Novorossiaya and how much it is Russia. In May, a survey of residents was conducted in eight south-eastern regions of Ukraine. To the question "Do you want your area separated from Ukraine and join some other state?" 45% of respondents gave a positive answer; at the same time 34% were against the secession. In September, during the same survey, different data was received - 22% and 48%, respectively. Now Donbass does not want to join Russia, emphasizes Irina Byakeshkina

The question arises whether Russia wants Donbass to be within its borders, whether it would be economically advantageous to the Kremlin? Belarusian economist Leanid Zlotnikau is convinced that Donbas itself is not economically appealing to Russia, which needs to retain influence over the whole of Ukraine: 

"Without Ukraine EAEC has no particular sense, as Kazakhstan and Belarus are only 14% of the Russian GDP - they would not be much of an economic power. Ukraine has been and remains the most economically developed country in the CIS. Moreover, the Russian military complex is linked to the military complex of Ukraine, and Russia is also interested in the future unrestricted supply of gas to Europe, the gas flows through Ukrainian pipelines."

The Economist notes that it will be quite difficult to pull Ukraine out of a difficult situation. Even if Europe offers about $30 billion for recovery, these funds will not be sufficient. For example, after the unification, West Germany invested in the development of the East about $2 trillion. These figures speak for themselves.