Newsletter 2015/06/01 – Steinmeier and the Oligarchs
KIEW/DNEPROPETROVSK/BERLIN (Own report) – Berlin is increasing
pressure on Kiev that it enforces the cease-fire in eastern Ukraine.
Observers consider the continuation of the civil war to be perilous.
On the one hand, they see the risk of loosing even more territory to
eastern Ukrainian insurgents, while on the other, it is unclear how
the country’s total economic collapse can be avoided without ending
the hostilities. Therefore, on the weekend, German Foreign Minister
Steinmeier traveled not only to Kiev, but also to Dnepropetrovsk, the
town of oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi. Even though Kolomoyskyi has
recently stepped down as governor, he still wields significant
influence over the – in some cases – fascist militias, which refuse a
cease-fire. To put pressure on the fascists, who had helped execute
the February 2014 Kiev coup, but are uncontrollable in the civil war,
Berlin must make a deal with Ukrainian oligarchs. These same oligarchs
had been the focus of the protests at the Maidan. Several times last
year, Foreign Minister Steinmeier held personal consultations with
powerful oligarchs – including President Poroshenko – or politicians
directly dependent on them. The Ukrainian oligarchy has emerged
unscathed from last year’s upheavals.