西方分析人士和决策者们很可能在乌克兰政治问题还未解决、经济环境还相当脆弱的情况下就忍不住立即许诺经济援助、贷款担保、免除债务或签订国际货币基金组织（International Monetary Fund）合约。这些做法是积极的，而且政府官员深谙此道，但对乌克兰民众来说，他们有责任通过艰难的政治改革，来挽救国家经济，使它免于崩溃。
As Ukraine's political strife continue making headlines this week, and as armed men on Friday occupy the country's pro-Russia region of Crimea, it's easy to get lost in the news.
Over the last three years, as uprisings and demonstrations have erupted around the world, journalists, pundits, and other analysts have wrongly drawn parallels between these events. When protests broke out in Istanbul last spring, some news outlets wondered whether Taksim Square was Turkey's "Tahrir Square" -- a reference to the now iconic traffic roundabout in central Cairo where Egyptian demonstrations brought an end to then president Hosni Mubarak's rule in early 2011.
More recently, journalists covering Ukraine's uprising against ousted President Viktor Yanukovych have made direct comparison to Tahrir Square. These comparisons make great copy and perhaps keep viewers interested, but they are largely superficial. It is true that the protests that brought down both Mubarak and Yanukovych were in squares whose names are derived similarly, but other than at that most abstract level, the political dynamics in Egypt and Ukraine are hardly analogous.
Yet there is one specific area where the Egyptians and the Ukrainians have strikingly similar challenges: Both countries are broke. And this raises the prospects for further political instability.
Neither Egypt's 2011 uprising nor the recent demonstrations in Ukraine was principally about economic grievances, however. Egyptians poured into the streets wanting to live in a freer and more just society. Ukrainians were responding to Yanukovych's rejection of an agreement with the European Union in favor of a generous financial assistance package from Moscow. Although the trigger for the protests in Kiev may have been linked directly to trade, finance, and the country's economic well-being, for many Ukrainians, the demonstrations were about their country's identity.
There is a temptation for Western analysts and policymakers to rush into Ukraine's currently unsettled political and tenuous economic environment with promises of aid, loan guarantees, debt relief, and an International Monetary Fund agreement. This is positive -- and something that bureaucrats know how to do -- but Ukrainians have an obligation to undertake difficult political reforms to improve the chances that the country's economy does not collapse.
Within the policy and academic communities there has long been a debate about what is often referred to as "sequencing." That is, should countries that are undergoing political transitions focus on economic development or democratic reform? Although efforts to answer this question have taken up reams of paper, it actually sets up a false choice. Countries need to do both simultaneously. Consider, for example, Egypt. It became clear relatively quickly after Mubarak's fall that a deteriorating economy would have an impact on the country's politics and stability. Although Egypt boasted good macroeconomic indicators during the mid-2000s, the uprising laid bare a reality of massive debt, unsustainable subsidies, stunning rates of poverty, and high unemployment, especially among young Egyptians. The political uncertainty and chaos around Mubarak's fall also contributed to steep declines in tourism -- a principal source of foreign currency -- and also chased away foreign investments outside a faltering hydrocarbon sector.