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Ukraine's Fatal Lack Of Trust

I'm sure that Yulia Tymoshenko is not on President Victor Yushchenko's Christmas card list. At Yushchenko's annual meeting with the foreign media this week, he, predictably, said the country's economic problems were due to the "weak fiscal policy of Yulia Tymoshenko's government." The National Bank had operated correctly, he said, but the government not.

He highlighted his plans for overcoming the economic crisis, which included debt restructuring, budget cuts in the state administration, and restoring trust, by guaranteeing deposits, in the banking sector.

And of course, no meeting with the president would have been complete without a discussion of the country's farcical politics and the latest snap elections.

Yushchenko said the political situation was a "big tragedy" and the extraordinary elections he ordered recently a way of solving the crisis. Elections are not fatal, he said, but political relations between parliamentary forces were exhausted and the trust gone.

Regarding the forming of future coalitions, he said: "It is not a question who makes a deal with whom. Even if we will get the Ukrainian communists and they will work alongside us, I will be the first to conduct a dialogue with them. [We should] unite around those things that bring us a better state system, independence, integration, safety, economic development, and harmonization of relations."

Shaking hands and saying goodbye to the president, I remembered how he had started the conversation: "It is important not only to give an answer, but mainly to trust in it." He's right, in a way. That's what's missing in Ukraine -- in the banking sector in the parliament -- trust.

-- Sergiy Rachinsky

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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