Mains Paper 1: International Relations
Prelims level: Ukraine President election
Mains level: Ukaraine – Russia Relations
The pro-West Ukrainian oligarch, President Petro Poroshenko, has a
battle at hand in his re-election bid on March 31. Given the crowded arena,
including former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a run-off cannot be ruled
The President’s modest record in office, however, may not entirely
be held against him, given the difficult geopolitical backdrop. The
continuing conflict in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine exerts a heavy
Over 10,000 lives have been lost since Russia’s 2014 annexation of
Crimea. Millions have been displaced, with the resolution envisaged in the
Minsk Accord proving elusive.
The government has signed a free-trade pact and a separate
association agreement with the European Union, and got strong economic and
military backing from Washington and Brussels.
Memberships of the EU and NATO are among the government’s
long-term objectives. Ukraine has also been rewarded with an IMF aid package
worth billions of dollars for improved governance and enacting
But the increase in the price of household gas and other
conditionalities stemming from IMF assistance have fuelled popular
Mr. Poroshenko has been especially concerned about not loosening
his grip on power or political legitimacy since Moscow’s recognition of
polls last year to the breakaway provinces of Ukraine.
When tensions flared up in November after Russia seized three
Ukrainian naval vessels on the disputed Azov Sea, Mr. Poroshenko imposed a
The move was criticised by the opposition as an attempt to
capitalise on the conflict with an eye on elections.
Opponents are anxious to tap into the popular frustration with the
For his part, the President has adopted an overtly nationalist
posture in recent months. Billboards in support of Mr. Poroshenko extol the
army’s role during the conflict, besides carrying invocations to the
country’s faith and language.
The reference to religion is evidently meant to celebrate the
recognition the Ukrainian Orthodox Church won late last year as an
Independence from the Russian Orthodox Church is a watershed after
centuries within the larger fold. Similarly, importance is sought to be
attached to asserting the separate identity of the Ukrainian language,
predominantly spoken in the western part of the country, over Russian.
An exaggerated sense of the distinctness of cultural symbols may
at best prove politically expedient in a society with a long pluralist
legacy. Mr. Poroshenko should exercise caution not to overplay these issues.
A close contest is in the offing. But whatever the choice the
Ukrainian voters make, their problems are unlikely to disappear in a hurry.
Q.1) Which of the following steps can be taken to check inflation in
economy? 1. The increasing rate of interest on borrowings for commercial banks.
2. Performing Open Market Operations.
3. Encouraging export of essential items.
Select the answer using the code given below. (a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Q.1) How Ukraine election is important for Russia and other neighboring