“The sentence Poroshenko”: how Ukraine responded to the Dutch referendum

Student flashmob in Kiev on the eve of the referendum in the Netherlands. April 5, 2016

Russia is to blame and skeptics

On Tuesday, the majority who participated in the referendum in the Netherlands on the Association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union objected to the use of this agreement. In Ukraine, the result of the referendum was met with disappointment. One of the first was made by President Petro Poroshenko. In his address he stated that the real purpose of the organizers of the referendum was “not the Association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union” and “attack on the unity of Europe”.

Poroshenko assured that Ukraine “will continue to implement the Association agreement will ensure the creation of a deep and comprehensive free trade area with the EU, because this is the path to modernization of the Ukrainian state and strengthening its independence.”

The refusal of President Viktor Yanukovych to sign the Association agreement in autumn 2013 provoked the outbreak of the Euromaidan, which led to his overthrow.

A close ally of the President, Deputy presidential faction Iryna Herashchenko responsibility with the Ukrainian authorities also removed. “All who are versed in the subject of the referendum, understand that it will be negative,” she wrote in Facebook. In her view, opponents of the agreement were better mobilized and a priori did not vote against the agreements, as shown “Fig in the pocket” the EU itself. Also, in her opinion, worked by Russian propaganda and lobby.

A negative outcome of the Dutch referendum was the result of advocacy efforts of Russia and constant criticism from the lips of so-called Euro-optimists in Ukraine, which they conveyed to the European officials, agreed with the colleague the Deputy of the “Popular front” Vadym Kryvenko. The popular front headed by Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, always talking about the need for Ukraine to follow the path of European integration.

Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov on the last days denied any involvement of Moscow to the referendum, calling it an internal affair of the Netherlands.

The responsibility of the President

However, the Deputy Mustafa Nayem from the presidential “Block Poroshenko” in Facebook expressed confidence that the referendum result was a “verdict personally Petro Poroshenko”, “it’s an indictment of the President, have all powers, within two years systematically and strongly between past and future was selected the past”. The same claim, the member nominated by the President after the news that Poroshenko had concealed information about the presence of his offshore companies.

The Ukrainian authorities in the last two months, the Dutch campaigned to vote “for”. In early March, the country was visited by the Chairman of the Parliament Volodymyr Groysman. Together with the deputies, he held a series of meetings with leaders of the Netherlands. A few days before the referendum in the Netherlands has arrived group of MPs.

The result is a “fee for offshore Poroshenko, corruption and lies to Ukrainians”, — said the leader of the Radical party Oleg Lyashko. The opposition bloc believes that “the result of the referendum in the Netherlands is a cold shower for the Ukrainian government from the Europeans, the failure of the government politicians, but not a defeat of Ukraine.” The party collected mainly from functionaries of the regime of ex-President Viktor Yanukovych believes that the current Ukrainian government cannot cope with the work. “It is time for elections. Ukraine deserves a government that works honestly and professionally to people,” concludes the Opposition bloc.

Poroshenko cannot be considered the only responsible for the result of the vote, and it is the fault of the Minister of foreign Affairs Pavel Klimkin and Verkhovna Rada, since the foreign policy is determined by the President and Parliament, says the Ukrainian political analyst Konstantin Bondarenko. The result is a serious blow to the reputation of the government and the President, but will not lead to the fact that the nation now will arise and go to overthrow the government, he says.

Personnel issues in connection with this diplomatic failure will not follow, so as not to inflate the story, this is evidenced by the statement of the President, which pointed to external factors, says Ukrainian political scientist Vadim Karasev. In publications about the possible composition of the new Cabinet, Ukrainian media reported that foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin will retain his post.

The impact on the coalition

The result of the referendum is not the first blow to the European path of Ukraine. In early March it became known that the granting of visa-free regime with the EU may be delayed. The reasons for the delay were the slow reform of the government, lack of corruption. In Ukraine, these claims were addressed to the government headed by Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

16 February, the Parliament declared unsatisfactory the work of the premiere, but could not dismiss, he didn’t have enough votes. Consisting of five factions of the coalition after it almost collapsed, but this is still not reported. If the coalition is officially declared broken, the deputies have a month to create a new one, otherwise the President the opportunity to declare early elections.

Poroshenko has repeatedly spoken for the speedy reformation of the government, but without elections. Recent ratings show that the popularity of the presidential bloc of Petro Poroshenko decreases, and his main coalition partner, the people’s front is almost close to zero. Gaining popularity of the “Batkivschyna”, “Zamoose” and “Opposition bloc”. According to the Kyiv international Institute of sociology, the leader of the party’s rating in March was”Batkivshchyna”, for which are ready to vote for 9.5% of Ukrainians, in the second place, the Opposition bloc (6,7%), the third Block of Petro Poroshenko (5,8%), the fourth “Self-help” – 5,5%, “Popular front” is less than 1%.

In order to avoid early elections of the faction of the Popular front and bloc of Petro Poroshenko began to lure deputies from other factions. BPP Deputy Alexander Briginets said Thursday that the emerging coalition already has about 230 members. However, officially about coalition formation have not yet been announced.

The results of the referendum will not speed up any realization of the scenario of early elections or a change of government, as these processes develop according to its own logic, indicates Bondarenko. According to Karaseva, the formation of a coalition will be announced next week, at the same time approved a new government headed by Groisman.