EU must stop forcing decisions on Ukraine: Dmitry Babich

Press TV has conducted an interview with Dmitry O. Babich, with the Voice of Russia Radio Station, about Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych accepting Prime Minister Mykola Azarov’s resignation in a move aimed at defusing the Eastern European country’s political crisis.

What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Mr. Babich, the first concrete concession by Yanukovych since the crisis erupted two months ago. This is how a lot of people are seeing the resignation now of the government. Would you agree with that description?

Babich: No I think it is just the last one in a long chain of compromises that Yanukovych suggested actually even his decision not to sign the association agreement with the EU in November. He insisted that he was not cancelling this agreement. He said that he was just postponing it. He said he would sign it later if it was rewarded and if the EU was ready to provide financial assistance to Ukraine.

The problem was that the EU did not accept this compromise. The EU said that it should be signed in the form it had been prepared and when Yanukovych suggested trilateral talks between the EU, Ukraine and Russia to sort out the differences, the EU insisted that it should be a bilateral affair.

So this was the first compromise. The second compromise was just several days ago when Yanukovych suggested the position of the prime minister to Arseniy Yatsenyuk, one of the nationalist opposition’s leaders and this was also declined.

So I am afraid now it is the third compromise and we see that it only whets their position’s appetite. But I am afraid it is a very dangerous game because their position is making the same mistake that Hitler made more than 60 years ago. Hitler by the way was supported by the Ukrainian nationalists during the Second World War.

The problem with Hitler was that he did not let the fruits of his victories ripen. He just pushed ahead and ahead until he lost the war. I am afraid their position is going to make the same mistake.

Press TV: Mr. Babich, a lot of comments of course are on our page today about the role of foreign governments both Russia being discussed and Western governments – the EU, the United States.

What is your position on a foreign intervention in the current situation in Ukraine?

 Well first I would like to say that the situation is pretty complicated. I would say more complicated than Ian [Williams] [the other guest of the program] just described it.

I am afraid I would say that it is sort of more nuanced because on the one hand yes, it looks like the Party of Regions is under the President’s control and the Party of Regions won the parliamentary elections. Western countries and even the Ukrainian opposition did not dispute the fact that the Party of Regions won more seats than nationalists from Western Ukraine during the last parliamentary election which took place just about a year ago.

On the other hand I am sure that in a country like France or even Britain the people who hurl Molotov cocktail at police, the people who attack the President’s office and who took by storm several ministries like for example the Justice Ministry just yesterday, these people would be in jail in the UK, they would be in jail in France, they would be in jail in Germany without any additional legislation because you see how violently they behave.

As for the foreign powers I can tell you that yes, Russia bought Ukraine’s government bonds and in this way Russia provided some financial help to Ukraine now when Ukraine is in a very difficult financial situation.

Well for example Russia and China buy the US government bonds, we credit the American government. Does it mean that we are pulling the strings? Does it mean that we have any influence on the US government? I am not sure that is true.  So I think Russia was quite in the limits of the legitimate there.

This cannot be said about the EU because the Foreign Minister of Germany came to Kiev and he participated in the protest. He spoke to the protest participants urging them to stay on. The speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament was also there.

Just today the head of the EU Diplomacy Catherine Ashton came to Kiev and there were no Russian officials. I am sure that if a Russian official came to Kiev there would be a scandal in the UK, in the EU, in the US they would say that this is the big Russia, the big Russian brother is coming back to Ukraine. No one is saying it about the EU. It is a double standard.

Press TV: Mr. Babich, do you think it would be doing this service to people in the streets if we focus too much on the issue of foreign intervention and we do not consider what the protesters are saying, they are calling the government a dictatorship, they are accusing the President of having all the power and refusing to reform the constitution, etc.?

Babich: Well I think that foreign intervention is of course bad but I do not see any proof that there is intervention on the Russian side. There was not a single Russian official who came to Kiev since the start of the crisis.

Victoria Nuland from the State Department was feeding cookies to the demonstrators right on the streets of Kiev under the cameras. I think it was indeed beyond the limits of the legitimate and it was really strange I would say but Russians never did anything like that. And President Putin today when he was asked whether Russia would continue economic support for Ukraine if Ukraine has new government, he said that Russia would continue providing help to any government that wants cooperation with Russia – economic cooperation. I think it is quite legitimate.

You should not expect for example the United States to give economic aid to Iran…In the same way it will be hard for Russia to provide economic assistance to a government that says that Ukrainians – I am quoting the Ukrainian national leaders – Ukrainians are anthropologically superior to Russians.

And here is one point where I really disagree with what Ian said when he said that military of Japan when it was fighting during the Second World War supported the Indian nationalist movement, it was nice.

I am not sure that anything that Nazi Germany did was nice and the fact that the Ukrainian nationalists were allies of Nazi Germany in 1941 and in 1939 when they helped the Germans to defeat the Poles, I think it was a disgrace for the Ukrainians, I mean for the Ukrainian nationalists because everyone knew what Hitler was about already in 1939. Hitler was about racism and the Ukrainian nationalists knew it.

[In response to Ian Williams]

Babich: You are right and it was justly condemned in Russia, the spat between Stalin and Hitler but I would like to point your attention that in 1939 the Ukrainian nationalists in the West of Ukraine which was indeed or had been part of Poland until 1939 supported Stalin because it was at least [a moment] that for the first time in one thousand years Ukraine became one nation. So the Ukrainian nationalists supported both Stalin and Hitler.

Press TV: And Mr. Babich, if you could also in less than thirty seconds tell what you think about that, what should be done?

Babich: I think the EU should stop ramming through its decisions, forcing them on Ukraine. Russia I hope will provide economic aid to Ukraine, and Russia and the EU at last will cooperate and we will help the Ukrainian people out of a very difficult situation where they find themselves now and the Ukrainian people will reject their fascists who are primarily a danger to the Ukrainian people and not to the other nations.


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