When Viktor Yushchenko dismissed Yulia Tymoshenko he disappointed the friends of Ukraine who had believed in the orange revolution. That revolution was not the last step to democracy and all steps are not taken in the same direction. Europe and the United States should be patient with Ukraine. What has been achieved can’t be forgotten.
In 1991 Ukraine became independent after three centuries of Russian and later Soviet domination; it turned its economy into a market economy and established good relations with the United States, NATO and the European Union. Nowadays, it’s part of the coalition in the Balkans and Iraq. Last December, it just took an important step towards democracy. However, that country is not perfect. It has a chaotic political life, its civil code is archaic, a reform is necessary in its army and its bureaucracy, while corruption is endemic. But the eastern European countries had these problems too; Ukraine has just had a more difficult beginning.
The rupture of the coalition that brought about the orange revolution is a terrible blow for the reformists as the legislative elections of 2006 could be. But there is nothing to worry about. The fact that the new Prime Minister favours better relations with Russia should not suggest that Ukraine is coming apart from the West.
A stable Ukraine is essential for the United States. The same policy must be kept: to support civil society and democracy, to maintain our cooperation in favour of reforms and security, and to develop education and training programs.

International Herald Tribune (France)
The International Herald Tribune is a version of the New York Times adapted for the European public. It works in direct association with Haaretz (Israel), Kathimerini (Greece), Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany), JoongAng Daily (South Korea), Asahi Shimbun (Japan), The Daily Star (Lebanon) and El País (Spain). It also works, through its head office, in indirect association with Le Monde (France).

Ukraine: Don’t go wobbly on the orange”, by Stephen J. Flanagan and Eugene Rumer, International Herald Tribune, September 30, 2005.