In August, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called for early parliamentary elections to kick-start his reform agenda and to cleanse Ukraine of lawmakers who owed their loyalty to the ways and personalities of the pre-Maidan era.
Facing economic collapse, a winter without Russian natural gas, and a frozen conflict in the Donbas, a divisive election may be the last thing Ukraine needs. But on October 26, Ukrainians will head to the polls to elect a new parliament.
The Ukraine crisis has betrayed fissures in the Russo-Kazakh relationship. It is difficult to predict a post-Nazarbayev Kazakh policy toward Russia, but developments in Ukraine suggest that future Kazakh leaders will have to deal with a new source of friction with the Kremlin.
The EU and Ukraine have suspended provisional application of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) until the end of 2015. Though their decision might look like Putin’s victory, this conclusion is not obvious. It is high time to stop viewing Ukraine through the prism of Russia policy.
Europe’s and the United States’ principal challenge for the coming years is to develop a new strategy for dealing with Russia. This strategy will have to be built on a realistic understanding of Russia as it is, rather than on what the West would like it to be and hopes it will one day become.