BEIJING, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Western powers have attempted to manipulate the opinions of the Ukrainian people over whether the country should sign a key trade and association pact with the European Union (EU).
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland flew to Kiev and offered support to protesters in Independence Square, joining the league of the opposition demanding the fall of democratically-elected President Viktor Yanukovich.
Nuland is far from the only Western politician who has gone to cheer on the protesters. German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle toured the heart of the protest camp with two opposition leaders, telling them that "Ukraine should be on board with Europe."
Meanwhile, U.S. lawmakers warned of sanctions, while EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told reporters in Kiev that Yanukovich had promised a solution within 24 hours.
The West is keen to lock down a compromise from the Ukrainian government, which in late November dropped a plan to go West and turned instead toward Moscow.
Given its geographical importance, Ukraine has long been caught in a tug-of-war between the Western powers and Russia.
However, it is Ukraine that should think and decide for itself. The West must keep its hands off the domestic affairs of a sovereign nation. Showing support for the anti-government protesters is a serious blow to Ukrainian democracy, not to mention that it could complicate regional affairs.
The West may plunge the East European country into turmoil by stoking confrontation, rather than calling for dialogue to resolve domestic disputes.
Moreover, the aggressive move to push Ukraine back into the embrace of the European Union is a direct challenge to Moscow's sway over the former Soviet republic, raising political tension and causing instability in the area.
Even though a temporary solution to the crisis is on the horizon, Western meddling has aborted independent dialogue between the government and opposition, planting the seeds of future social and political division in the nation.
The Cold War is over. Yet an either-or mentality still seems to linger in old battlefields such as Ukraine.
The open interference of Western powers raises the specter of an out-dated zero-sum thinking - and that would only lead to a lose-lose situation.
Ukraine sees no need for int'l mediation of political crisis: FM
KIEV, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- At the moment, there is no need to involve international mediators to settle the political situation in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara said on Thursday.
"I consider mediation as an extreme measure, which would have shown the inability of the government and the opposition to hold constructive negotiations," Kozhara was quoted by Interfax-Ukraine news agency as saying. Full story