Wanted: Competent Foreigners to Work for Ukrainian Government

At the onset of Russia-backed separatism in early 2014, some in Donbas of eastern Ukraine would say “better to have our own stupid master than a smart foreign master.” It’s a spin on the Russian proverb about husbands – “Better your own idiot than a smart stranger.”

The expression would suggest that the newly installed Ukrainian government, however inadequate, is  better than a foreign Russian government, however more adequate that might be perceived by the people of Donbas.

In announcing comprehensive reforms targeted at breaking the circle of “our people” and inviting foreigners to lead the country, President Petro Poroshenko is not taking such proverbs to heart. Instead, he has pursued a skilled team, proposing a law last November to allow foreigners to take top government positions and simplify procedures for granting Ukrainian citizenship through fast tracking with presidential approval.