Ah, what a tangled web.
But Kiev’s pleas for an end to trade ties have run into strong resistance from workers at companies like Motor Sich, here in Ukraine’s industrial heartland, where 27,000 employees build engines tailor-made for Russian military helicopters and planes. Most senior executives here grew up as part of the same Soviet military-industrial club as their Russian peers.“
We have our own party, the party of Motor Sich,’’ company spokesman Anatoliy Malysh said.
The competing pulls are complicating Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s efforts to chart a new course with Moscow at a time when Ukraine and Russia’s economies remain deeply intertwined.
There’s no simple solution here. The economic, social and cultural ties run deep.
“We’re dependent on Russia,” said Malysh, the company spokesman. Leaders in Kiev “think that national interests are more important than the economy. But let them speak to people who live without jobs. We are also patriots,” he said. Motor Sich hasn’t stopped exports to fulfill existing contracts, he said.
Many people tied to the plant say they have conflicted feelings about severing ties with their neighbor.
“Nobody ever thought about this. We’re brothers,” said Alla Kozlovskaya, 47, a teacher at a trade school designed to funnel students onto the factory floor. She said she had family in Moscow.
The great tragedy is that none of this needed to happen. Given a modicum of autonomy and respect from the Ukrainian government, these south-eastern regions would have soldiered on with nary a serious thought of separation. Even now, it’s probably not too late to keep Ukraine together but time, and circumstances, may soon render any such hope forlorn.
With the vulnerability of its defence procurement to the Ukraine starkly exposed, Russia now has no choice but to plug that hole.
“We will be rid of imported component parts and items within the next two or three years, principally those from Ukraine,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said this week at a Russian defense trade show, Interfax reported. It is Ukraine that will suffer as a result of the split, he said.
“It scares me even to imagine what will happen to Ukraine,” he said.
(h/t FB Ali)