After Ukraine’s citizens rocked the country over the last few weeks, the spotlight is once again on the politicians. US ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt was in town to meet new interim president Oleksander Turchinov. He hopes to form a government by Tuesday and spoke about the country’s new direction: “Our priority is returning to the path of European integration where the fight for Maidan began. We have to return to a family of European countries and to understand the importance of relations with the Russian Federation”.
But already a clearly disgruntled Russia has summoned their ambassador to the Ukraine, Mikhail Zurabov, back to Moscow. The US, meanwhile, remains upbeat about a compromise. Their National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, said in a television interview: “There is not an inherent contradiction between a Ukraine that has long-standing historic and cultural ties to Russia and a modern Ukraine that wants to integrate more closely with Europe”.
The battle-weary crowds in Maidan know the struggle is far from over. The split between pro-EU citizens and those wanting to stay close to Russia is fairly even. Pleasing enough people will be the new government’s biggest challenge.