If the petition gathers 100,000 signatures – how will White House officials react?
Well, you have to look at the First Amendment of the US Constitution and according to that everyone has the right for the petition. And if it gathers the 100, 000 votes then it is actually not binding for the government like the US case rule is that the government has to post a response to that petition but the response has to be written and the response usually comes from a variety of administrative officials including staff of the White House, and from time to time President Obama responds directly. In this, we can see another precedent was Edward Snowden, where another petition was filed and closed on 24th June of this year and as we see it is still unanswered. So if we look at this petition and it gathers the 100, 000 votes until the 26th December then we might have to wait for a month until an official response from the White House will be released.
For me this seems like a strange move from organizers of the petition. I don’t know why they are writing to the American government to put restrains against Yanukovych for a political decision, seems just a bit strange. They haven’t even gone to the European Court of Human Rights or something else. It seems strange that they would choose the American government. Why do you think they did that? 
I think the idea behind it is that the threshold of the White House was pretty low, with 100,000 votes and in addition is that the US is the member of the UN. If the government receives such a petition they might take an account applying sanctions through the Security Council of the UN, being a member of the UN.
But what kind of sanctions can we talk about against Yanukovych? He hasn’t broken any laws, he hasn’t tortured people, he hasn’t imprisoned people for now no reason. It’s just seem very very strange.
It can be regarded in several ways from that point of public international law because he has imprisoned Tymoshenko whether it was right or wrong. I’m not a judge to decide about that. But if you look at the sanctions which can be made by the European Council or better the UN Council, then it's like, there have been sanctions before to African countries where also the President didn’t murder someone or killed someone or do genocide but in this move, I think, they want to put pressure onto Yanukovych through these sanctions. Why it is the US? I still think it is the threshold but if you want to go to the European Court of Human Rights you first need to exert the local remedy. This is not the case here.
That’s true. Is there such an option of a petition on the web site in Ukraine? Is there a local option?
Well, the Ukrainian people could go to the government to amend the law, which would be to sign the treaty. There is no such a petition at the moment.
Next year is the election year. People, I think, would still remember what happened this year. Yanukovych very well knows that next year is the election year. And it seems that if the people were to show him that we will not reelect you and it is huge majority, that it perhaps would be more affective than going to the US.
It might happen like with the Orange Revolution that Yanukovych won't receive the majority anymore but there is no guarantee that people will not reelect him. Ukraine is in a pretty dilemma between this Free Trade Agreement with the EU and the amendment of the Eurasian Union. Van Rompuy posted yesterday on the web site that the EU will put no pressure to the Ukraine joining the treaty or not.
If we talk about the people in Ukraine today how many of them support joining the EU and are there people who still are interested or would benefit from joining Russian Customs Union? Is there a division among the people?
Yes, it’s difficult, there is definitely a division, first, between the Western part of Ukraine and the Eastern part of Ukraine and second, between young and old people whereas the most young people are very Europe driven and want to join the EU, the old people just remain in memory of the Soviet Union, just want to get the Soviet Union version 2 and that’s why the Eastern part mainly has a drift towards Russia, whereas the Western part is more European, they are more liberal and that way vice versa they just do not want to join Russia.
What do you think really drove Yanukovych to turn around on this at the last moment? As I mentioned before, this is the pre-election year, election year is next year and do you think that he felt that there are significant number of people who would actually benefit or the government would financially benefit from not signing that agreement?
I think that the situation is more or less like with Belorussia where Belorussia is pretty dependent on Ukraine and Ukraine itself is dependent on Russian gas. So I think there would be definitely a profit for the government if they join the Russian Customs Union and not the EU because then this is the hope of Yanukovych that the prices for gas will drop then because it is the Customs Union.
So you think the gas prices are determining factor?
It’s one of the factors I guess and also that Yanukovych himself is rather Russia bound than the European bound.
What do you think is going to happen this coming election year? I think Yanukovych has actually spoken of the fact that he can perhaps delay this signing, not cancel it but delay it for another year? What do you think we will be seeing during next elections? Yulia Tymoshenko is still in prison if that’s agreement is not signed there is a good chance she will remain in prison. What do you think is going to develop on the political arena in Ukraine?
You are right about the imprisonment of Tymoshenko. If they postpone the signing of the law to the treaty to join the Free Trade Union with the EU then it is going to be hard against Klitschko who has a really big base behind him. In the end Yanukovych is going to make the second term and the integration with Russia will just transfer.
Do you think that Yanukovych might have outsmarted everybody and actually gone for this move because he wants to keep Tymoshenko in jail, you know, not in elections against him as President?
This might be the move. It can’t be the political reason behind it because she is his hardest enemy in the election, well, besides Klitschko.
So she has a lot of support and basically she could be a big threat to him so this is perhaps just a way to keep Yulia in jail until the elections are over and perhaps then we will see a signing of the contract? What do you think?
This would be an option but that depends on how the European Union will deal with that. As they said they won’t put pressure, they won’t put Ukraine in that situation.