Ukraine Has Lively and Competitive Democracy - McFaul
17 September, 2018

Ukraine’s fledgling democracy is lively and competitive, Stanford professor and former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said, as the country gears up for presidential elections in 2019.

In an interview with Hromadske on September 16, McFaul praised Ukraine for its strengthening civil society and reforms.

“Competition is the key to democracy. No competition, no democracy. And here's a very important point: do you know who's going to be the president of Ukraine next summer?,” he said.

Photo credit: Oleksandr Kokhan/HROMADSKE

Asked about specific candidates, he answered “I want to be very, very clear that I do not support any presidential candidate, I don't support any political party, I don't want to interfere in the domestic affairs of Ukraine.”

McFaul offered new insight into Ukraine’s connection with the ongoing Manafort trial in the United States, which has exposed extensive corruption in previous Ukrainian governments. He also highlighted the immense amount of money spent by the Yanukovych government in order to smear Orange Revolution leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

READ MORE: The Sunday Show with Michael McFaul

“I don't know exactly, I haven't read the whole indictment. Clearly, these things were not true, but it shows you the lengths to which the Yanukovych government was deploying resources to try to portray Yulia Tymoshenko in an unflattering way.”

Photo credit: Oleksandr Kokhan/HROMADSKE

He criticized Russia’s illegal actions in Ukraine and other countries.

“What I do understand about Mr. Putin is, two things. Number one: he is becoming increasingly defiant of the international system, of the sovereignty of other countries; your country, my country, and now the United Kingdom,” he said.

“What they did in our election in 2016, obviously more tragically what they've done to your country, but now here's another case as well. And I think these are illegal actions violating some of the basic norms of the international system,” he said.

/By Li Ping Luo