On December 17 in Moscow President of Russia and Ukraine signed a number of documents, including the agreements on lower gas price for Ukraine and 15-billion-dollar loan. Though positive or negative consequences of these agreements can be seen only within the time, it does not impede to interpret them as everyone sees fit.

As of  today, economic, political and social problems of Ukraine are so complicated that the Gordian knot cannot hold a candle to them. It is also impossible to ignore the EuroMaidan, which demands signing of the Association agreement, release of political prisoners, change of power and better life for all and everyone, though the leaders of the very EuroMaidan still do not have any scenario on how to provide this better life.

ForUm has asked Ukrainian experts and political scientists to comment on possible consequences of signing the Moscow agreements.

Valery Muntiyan, doctor of economics, professor, government envoy on cooperation with Russia, CIS, EuraAsian economic community and  other regional unions:

- I approve the given agreement with Russian and support President's policy on this matter. We indeed needed lower gas price and 15 billion of credit. Though Ukraine asked directly, the European Union refused us the credit, promising only one billion maximum. 

Yevhen Leshan, political expert:

- No doubt this agreement will stabilize the situation in Ukraine. The money, promised to Yanukovych for purchase of so-called Eurobonds, will enable to realize the social part of the budget for 2014, securing basic social payments for pensioners and state employees.

Volodymyr Kornilov, political scientist, director of Ukrainian branch of CIS Institute:

-  I can repeat Azarov's words on that this agreement saves Ukraine and Ukrainian economy from default: saves national currency, citizens' deposits, hundreds of enterprises and thousands of jobs. Though it does not solve all our problems, it is a solution for the next year or year and a half. As for further developments, it is up to Ukraine and its political forces to make use of this break and save the economy.

Oleksandr Ohrymenko, president of Ukrainian analytical center:

- Ideally, these agreements will have a positive effect on Ukraine's economy. At least they will remove the tension in bilateral relations, and there is a hope to increase import of Ukrainian production to Russia, which in turn means growth of income, salaries and GDP. And if no unexpected restrictions show up, the agreements will stimulate the growth of economy.

Enterprises are the first to benefit from these agreements: the number of orders will grow as well as the salaries of employees. The demand for currency will slacken, and hryvnia rate will drop below 8 already by New Year. Moreover, Ukrainians working in Russia will feel more secure.

Volodymyr Fesenko, chairman of board of the Center for applied political research "Penta":

- The documents signed on December 17 are the most effective agreements ever reached between the two countries from economic point of view. The risks of default and worsening of budget and financial situation have been neutralized, and for the next year and a half the social, economic and budget situation will be stable. From the political point of view, Viktor Yanukovych as a sitting president is strengthening his positions and preparing the platform for future election. Thanks to stable social and economic situation, the risks of protest moods among the population will be minimized. Even if Maidan protest continues, it won't be of large-scale. As for foreign policy consequences, we may say the vector of foreign policy has turned to Russia, as the signed documents provide for rather large-scale cooperation with the Russian Federation. At the same time, it does not mean the course of European integration will be suspended. Even the European Union rather quickly confirmed that "Moscow agreements" do not block the prospective of AA signing.

Mykhailo Pohrebynski, political scientist, director of Kyiv center for political research and conflict management:

- I believe these documents are extremely beneficial for Ukraine, as they enable our country to move away from the abyss of economic and financial collapse. For the short haul, that'll be enough to settle the most urgent issues regarding the balance of payments and credit obligations to IMF and other creditors. I think people in Maidan should understand that nobody turns away from Europe, and that "Moscow agreements" do not mean complete change of foreign policy. Russia just gave us a hand, and further developments depend on how Ukraine will make use of this help.


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