Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Some Sanity on Ukraine from the Council on Foreign Relations: Decentralization is the Solution

The Council on Foreign Relations put out this release earlier today:

Dear Colleague,

Yesterday, Russian president Vladimir Putin declared that Ukraine was on the “brink of civil war.”

He might be right writes American University professor Keith Darden in Foreign Affairs. Even more than the battle between Russia and the West, the internal cleavages within the country threaten to tear it apart.

“Inattention to Ukraine’s internal demons reflects a dangerous misreading of current events; the struggle between Russia and the West has been a catalyst, but not a cause. The protagonists in this conflict are subnational regions. The EU association process, and especially the protests, repression, and revolution that followed, activated very deep and long-standing divisions between them. Unless Kiev deals with its regions and installs a more legitimate, decentralized government, Ukraine will not be won by the East or the West. It will be torn apart.” Darden argues that the solution lies in constitutional change. “Call it what you want: decentralization, federalization, regionalization. The label makes little difference.”

In order to do that, the new government must balance power between the western and eastern regions of the country, which are divided by culture, history, and political say.

“Kiev needs to transfer some very substantial powers, including those over education, language, law, and taxation, to the regions. It also needs to make the officials who hold such powers democratically accountable to elected councils and governors.”

He concludes positively, “There is certainly a deal to be made between Ukraine’s regions that will satisfy its regional power bases, appease its neighbors, and keep the country whole.”

Read “How to Save Ukraine.”

1 comment:

  1. but saving the Ukraine in this way means DC loses power and money so.....yeah..