Implementation of Minsk deal in Russian interpretation a disaster for Ukraine – Yatsenyuk
The implementation of the Minsk deal in the Russian interpretation is a disaster for the Ukrainian people and for the Ukrainian state, former Ukrainian Prime Minister and founder of the Open Ukraine Foundation Arseniy Yatsenyuk has said.
“Under current circumstances, I strongly believe that the Minsk deal is not even the deal with the way to nowhere, this is the deal with the clear-cut way directly into the Russian trap,” he said during the Kyiv Security Forum online discussion on May 15.
Yatsenyuk emphasized that it is unacceptable that Russia is trying to force Ukraine “to legitimize Russia’s proxies with these so-called “local elections” and these weird workshops of different representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk.”
“The Russian idea is to dismantle Ukraine as an independent state. So I strongly believe that in current circumstances the implementation of the Minsk deal in the Russian interpretation is a disaster for the Ukrainian people and for the Ukrainian state,” he stressed.
Yatsenyuk underlined that the best response is “to have one united position, to be on the same page with the European Union”: “We need the strong EU leadership and the leadership of the United States.”
“Putin has to realize that he cannot solve his problems at the price of Ukraine. He has to realize that an appeasement policy, which showed its ineffectiveness in the previous century, will not be applied to Putin in current circumstances,” Yatsenyuk said.
“Putin wants to be a focal point of all the dictators in Europe. We need to stop them and we need to defend Ukraine as one of the key defenders of democracy in Europe. We showed it, we proved it, so let’s do it together,” he said.
He underlined that he “feels a certain vacuum of power in the contemporary world”: “Nature abhors the vacuum. Dictators abhor the weak democracies. And that’s what we have right now.”
“Democracy has to produce strong leadership in order to defend itself and to deter dictators. Dictators are feeling quite good right now. For example, President Putin,” Yatsenyuk said.
Yatsenyuk recalled that 13 years ago he as a Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine had a meeting with then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He noted that during this meeting he said: “Ukraine is encircled with the Russian military and Russian forces. Look at Belarus, look at Russia, look at what is happening in Crimea, look at what is going on in Transnistria. We are under Russia’s siege.” And seven years later Russia illegally annexed Crimea and sent its troops to Donetsk and Luhansk.
“Ukraine deterred Russian aggression. No doubt we did it with the support of our Western allies and the free world. But Ukraine is still under the Russian siege and the threat of large-scale Russian aggression. So we defended our homeland and we defended your independence and your democracy,” he emphasized.
“We need strong American leadership. And we need strong both the United States and the European Union. Transatlantic unity is the best recipe on how to stop and how to deter dictators like President Putin,” Yatsenyuk said.