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Ukraine Is Reverting Back To It's Past – Adrian Karatnycky
17 February, 2016
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What You Need To Know:

✓ The resignation of Economy Minister Abromavicius caused “a complete shift of opinion about President Poroshenko,"
✓ Ukraine is reverting back to its past, “rent-seeking in return for certain kinds of favors;”
✓ The political elite of Ukraine use political patronage to an extreme
✓ President Poroshenko must send a clear message that he is on the path of technocratic reform

The resignation of a reformist economy minister Aivaras Ambromavicius caused “a complete shift of opinion about President Poroshenko, “says Adrian Karatnycky, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, about the leader from the old system who promised to lead the country in the right direction. “Now, there isn’t high confidence that the reform trajectory of Ukraine will move forward.”

According to Karatnycky, Ukraine is reverting back to its past patterns, and although corruption exists, he presents the major problem as “rent-seeking in return for certain kinds of favors,” which is ultimately undermining the reform path.

Karatnycky stresses that while this type of behavior is present in all systems, including in the West, the political elite of Ukraine use political patronage to an extreme: “Every political party that comes in rewards its political activists with positions but in Ukraine if you reward those political activists, you’re getting proxies for major financial groups and these people are expected to defend not the national interest but the interest of these particular wealthy individuals”.

In order to move forward, Karatnycky believes that President Poroshenko must send a clear message that he is on the path of technocratic reform, while “lessening the number of traditional politicians and opening the doors to people without longstanding connections to the old way of doing things.”

Hromadske’s Ian Bateson and Nataliya Gumenyuk spoke to Adrian Karatnycky, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, during a live broadcast of The Sunday Show on February 14th, 2016 in Kyiv.