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No outside solution to Ukraine

Updated: 2014-02-21 07:06
( China Daily)

There's no end in sight for Ukraine's months-long political crisis as dozens were killed and more than 600 injured in Kiev in the latest clashes between protestors and government forces that started on Tuesday.

The nonstop unrest points to a cold fact that neither President Viktor Yanukovych nor the opposition has found a way out of the current mess, says a Xinhua commentary.

The incumbent government seems to have lost its grip on the situation as the concessions it has already made were unable to pacify the protestors.

But neither does the opposition, which is trying to turn anti-government sentiment among the public into its own political gains, have control of the situation. The severe domestic split is a mirror of the Eastern European nation's diplomatic and geopolitical dilemma as it is consistently forced to choose sides between the West and Russia since its independence in 1991.

The crisis was triggered by Yanukovych's decision to shelve an association agreement with the European Union in November in favor of ties with Russia. The president said the move was primarily based on economic considerations, but it was soon depicted as a pro-Moscow ploy by the pro-West opposition.

Sandwiched between Russia and an expanding EU, Ukraine has been trying for years to strike a balance in its relations with the EU and Russia. But recently the government's tightrope walking has become increasingly difficult.

The crisis is a remnant of the Cold War since many in the West still regard Russia as an enemy and are keen to bring countries with traditional ties to Russia under their orbit of influence.

But such an attitude will only increase Russia's sense of insecurity. Although Ukraine is caught in the current chaos, few expect it to steer a purely one-sided foreign policy course in the future.

There are also calls within Ukraine for an independent foreign policy based on national interests that resonate among fellow developing nations with a growing sense of self-determination and self-reliance.

The course of events show that external intervention will send out the wrong signal to the feuding sides in Ukraine and make the already split country even more divided.

In the end, it is for the Ukrainians themselves to renounce violence, conduct sincere dialogue and figure out what is best for their country. The process might be painful and protracted, but it carries the best hope for the future.

(China Daily 02/21/2014 page8)

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