Magyar Nemzet cautions the west against imposing sanctions on Ukraine. He believes punishing the Ukrainians would be unjust and could backfire.Gábor Stier, Magyar Nemzet’s main expert on international affairs admits that former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko should be acquitted of the charges levelled against her, instead of spending seven years in jail. Nevertheless, he suggests, she could be condemned to twice as many years in prison for other dubious transactions.
Her one time mentor, Pavol Lazarenko, a former Ukrainian prime Minister is serving a 9 year sentence in a federal penitentiary in the United States for money laundering, which proves that in other cases the West does not necessarily identify a threat to democracy when a former Premier appears in court.
As to the possible effect of western pressure on Kiev, Stier fears that political sanctions might push Ukraine, “the most democratic of the former Soviet republics” into an alliance with Russia. As for the threats from the European side, he suspects that what the European Union wants to avoid first of all is Ukraine’s accession to the Union, which is understandable. The only alternative for Ukraine, however, is “the Eastern option.”
The conservative analyst also accuses the West of applying double standards, as in Georgia’s case they do not publicly object to the regular maltreatment of political prisoners. He warns that the West might lose face as a result of such double standards, which might discredit all it’s policies within the post-Soviet area.