Ukraine’s New Parliament Will Strengthen Poroshenko, but Independents Will Make It Unpredictable

Analysis: Putin Unlikely to Scrap the Ceasefire Before October 26 Vote

While Russia’s President Vladimir Putin still has unmet ambitions in Ukraine, he is likely to avoid launching any new military offensive there before Ukraine’s October 26 parliamentary election, writes Timothy Ash, an economist who directs emerging markets strategy at Standard Bank in London.

Putin still wants to ensure that Ukraine will stay away from NATO, from the European Union, and from the nationalist democratic politics that emerged in Kyiv’s Maidan movement last winter. But he will wait to see the election’s outcome, in the hope that voters might choose a new government more inclined to offer concessions to Putin’s demands, Ash writes in a broad broad analysis of the Ukraine crisis for investors.

You can read Ash’s full article, published today by Standard Bank.

Highlights of the article include these:

  • “The ceasefire agreed on September 5, 2014 is proving fragile, with skirmishes and casualties reported on both sides, but perhaps this is only to be expected in the short term. Presidents Putin and Poroshenko both though probably see some value in trying to make the ceasefire stick for a while yet. It gives Putin time to consolidate achievements (‘frozen conflict’ and annexation of Crimea) and to await further compromise from the West and Kyiv. For Poroshenko it allows time for parliamentary elections, to rebuild military defenses and to try and stabilize the economy.

–“Parliamentary elections scheduled for October 26 are expected to consolidate the powers of President Poroshenko as his party, ‘For Petro Poroshenko’ is expected to secure 35 to 40 percent of the vote, … perhaps even securing a majority with the expected large number of independents elected. The next parliament is likely to be unpredictable but pro-Western, for statehood, and likely not inclined to compromise with Russia.”

Image: Ukrainians light smoke flares during a rally in Kyiv against political concessions made by President Petro Poroshenko in negotiating the cease-fire with Russian and Russian proxy forces. Poroshenko agreed to offer a special status to the zone held by the Russian-sponsored separatists, and the resulting protest in Kyiv September 17 underscored his narrow political room to maneuver. (REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko)