Translated by Scott Humor
Viktor Medvedchuk, leader of the”Ukrainian Choice” political organization, Kiev’s special envoy for humanitarian issues. He has been instrumental in prisoner exchanges between Russia and the Kiev regime. Russian president Vladimir Putin is a godfather to Medvedchuk’s daughter Darina (born in 2004). He is also the best candidate to become a president of the liberated Ukraine.
28 June 2016
The leader of the popular political movement “Ukrainian Choice“, the representative of Kiev for the prisoners exchange of the humanitarian sub-group on Donbass Viktor Medvedchuk candidly talks in his interview to RT about the implementation of the Minsk agreements, Ukraine’s actions against Crimea, as well as the possibility of accession to the EU.
Ukraine and Minsk Agreement
Commenting on the allegations that Russia was allegedly to blame for the fact that the Minsk agreements are not being implemented, Medvedchuk said:
“I strongly disagree with this notion. I have always said so publicly. We can’t blame just one side out of all those who signed the Minsk agreement for its violations. We have to admit honestly and frankly that until today, the Minsk agreement has not materialized. Objectively speaking, we have made some progress only in terms of human rights, namely, in exchange and release of detained persons in Donetsk and Lugansk, and Kiev.
Everything else got stuck on the level of discussion: discussions in the political sub-groups, the discussions in the subgroup on safety in relation to the establishment of the ceasefire, a discussion in the economic sub-group in relations to the economic blockade, and so on, and so forth… I think that blaming one side is more typical for the Ukrainian authorities. They always say that Russia has to be the first one to implement the Minsk Agreements. I would have assumed that the most important, the foundation of the Minsk agreements, is the political transformation (in Ukraine).”
“The party of war tries to talk to the Donetsk and Lugansk republics with the language of ultimatums, only. They want to return them under the jurisdiction of Ukraine. However, the question remains about the desire of people in those independent republics to come back under the jurisdiction of Ukraine, and the Kiev’s rule. Ukraine doesn’t fully comprehend that peace can be achieved only through negotiations. Another method, which is by force, has been discarded as ineffective by everyone with the exemption of radicals, including the Ukrainian radicals. Since the use of force against the Republics is unreal, we have to negotiate. Kiev authorities have to initiate negotiations.”
According to the leader of the movement “the Ukrainian choice,” Kiev lacks the political mechanisms to implement the clauses of the Minsk agreements.
“President Poroshenko has the political will to implement the Minsk Agreements, but he has no political resource. Any political transformations can only be accomplished by the powers of the Parliament of Ukraine. However, Ukraine’ Parliament today is composed of radical nationalists. They do not recognize the necessity to implement the Minsk agreement in terms of the Amnesty law, the law on the federal status (of the republics) and the law on elections, and even more so they disagree on the matter of amendment to the Constitution. Therefore, the situation is extremely negative when it comes to attempts be mobilize and direct political resources towards implementation of the Minsk agreements”, — said the politician.
In his interview, Medvedchuk gives an assessment to Kiev actions towards Crimea. In his opinion, the intentions and concrete actions of the Ukrainian authorities differ.
“Beside making many populist statements about the return of Crimea, its territory or its people, the Kiev government has done nothing in two years to achieve that. Maybe to say that they did nothing wouldn’t be quite correct, because they actually did everything for that not to happen. If they had any intention to return Crimea, it probably wasn’t necessary to block water, it wasn’t necessary to cutoff electricity, and to block the road freight transportation, it wasn’t necessary to block the rail transportation, freight and passenger services. The fact is that today Ukraine has imposed a blockade of Crimean territories and, therefore, imposed blockade on people there. That’s why every time the Kiev authorities make a declaration that they will “return Crimea,” it not only casts doubts, but sounds simply absurd. Their statements is one thing, and their actions is another. That makes the Kiev regime’s statements in regard to Crimea a pure political PR,” — said Viktor Medvedchuk.
We are not expected to become an EU member for the next 20 years
Speaking on the issue of Ukraine’s membership in the European Union, Medvedchuk gave as an example the statements made by the European politicians concerning Ukraine’s membership in the EU as being expected not earlier than in 20 years.
“I will refer to the authoritative opinion on this issue: over the past several years the EU leaders repeatedly expressed the view that the issue of Ukraine’s accession to the EU is unlikely to be considered sooner than in 20-25 years. Or rather, they say it will not. Well, after recent events, referendums in the Netherlands and Britain, I think that even the biggest optimists diminished their hopes in terms of eventual membership of Ukraine in the European Union. What’s really bad is that the free trade agreement with the European Union, which Ukraine has signed, is now brings detrimental effect on the economy.
We have taken upon ourselves multiple commitments to the EU, but we have not been granted any rights. We are promised implementation of the European laws and other benefits, when Ukraine will become an EU member, but we are not in danger of this happening. And I am one of those who believes that it is fortunate. We cannot today follow the path of accession to the EU because it is destroying our economy, it makes it impossible to raise income levels of the population, this may not be a remedy to stop the growth of unemployment, prices, and utility tariffs. We can’t solve our economic problems, while being restricted by the demands of the Association agreement with the EU, and we won’t be able to do so if tomorrow we will be restricted by the demands of the EU membership.”
“In recent years Ukraine has come under external management, and Kiev does everything what’s required by Washington and by the European capitals,” said Medvedchuk.
“In 2014-2015, Ukraine, unfortunately, has come under external administration, which it never experienced in all the years of its “independence” since 1991. This level of external control, which Ukraine is subjected right now, is really unprecedented. We live today by the commands from Washington, Brussels, Paris, and Berlin. We coordinate everything with them. We act in order to earn their favors. This, of course, cannot characterize the state of Ukraine as being sovereign and independent. Back in 2005, during the presidency of Viktor Yushchenko, that Ukraine has ceased to be the subject of foreign relations, and became the object of such. She continues to remain in this capability today,” said the politician.
Medvedchuk in an interview with RT replied to the Ukrainian media’s accusations that he has a “Pro-Russian” stance.
“When I say that I am a pro-Russian politician, I apply to this completely different meaning (than Ukrainian and the Western media). I am a politician who represents interests of those people who want to see Russia and the Russian people as friends and brothers. People who see Russia as a country, which is not just a neighbor, but a Slavic state, which has always been and always will be with the Ukrainian people. If this means to be a pro-Russian or a pro-Russian politician, I am for this assessment, and I can only embrace such attitude. It’s true.”