Quartz’s Steve LeVine quotes Amb. Oleh Shamshur from his live discussion with Atlantic Council VP Damon Wilson:
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych blinked today by agreeing to early elections.The parliament followed up by diluting the president’s powers. The question now is how the street will react.
“That’s not clear,” said Oleh Shamsur, Ukraine’s former ambassador to the US, speaking on a video call arranged by the Atlantic Council. Shamsur expects protesters around the country to hold their positions until it is clear that new elections will be “fair and democratic, that the country has started to change.” […]
In addition, there is the matter of how Ukraine will finance itself. The credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s today downgraded Ukraine credit to CCC, and Russia has canceled plans for another $2-billion tranche in a promised $15-billion bailout. In November, Yanukovych balked at stiff terms for Western aid demanded by the International Monetary Fund.
But Shamsur said a new government would be likely to go along with IMF-required reforms, including an end to expensive natural gas subsidies. “There is an understanding of the inevitability of cooperation with the IMF and that presupposes reforms,” he said. “The taste of the pudding is in the eating. But there is an understanding that the country is in need of reforms across the board.”