Leonid Kravchuk was your error, but there were unprecedented actions. And it’s not just about the historic signing of the Belovezhskaya agreements. Now it is hardly possible to imagine that someone from the power elite could voluntarily go for re-elections. Kravchuk went. And lost. But as it turned out, we lost not only Kravchuk. Ten years later Kuchma rooting oligarchy, a fusion of power with criminals and corrupt rust on all the state mechanism to prove that then lost to Ukraine. This ultimately led to the weakening of the body of the country, which was used by the enemy, who during this time have strengthened their positions. What is now urgently necessary to make the Ukrainian authorities not to lose the state?
“With the current format of the Minsk process, Russia is not responsible”
“A day,” Leonid Kravchuk, the war lasted for three years, the Minsk format is stalled. It’s obvious that you need some new, possibly heuristic initiative to resolve the impasse. You have a solution to this problem?
Leonid Kravchuk: Aristotle and Kant argued that first we have to determine the categories adequate to the situation, and their contents, and then already to do conclusions. Now we use categories that do not correspond to reality. For example, we use the term “ATO”. Under the ATO can understand some temporary activity or set of activities that are to continue in a limited, short time. In fact there is a war, and must act in accordance with the category of war. This war involved Russia, its mercenaries and Ukraine, which was attacked by the aggressor. If we proceed from the category of war, that all our actions, in particular in the signing of treaties and adoption of laws that emanate from it. Therefore, this question of certainty needs to be seen right away through the adoption of the relevant law. Second. The Minsk process has really stalled. In the current format there is no formula for solving the main problem — to stop the war and restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine and restore the occupied lands of the Ukrainian authorities. As I see it, while the Minsk process will not understand this. So you need to change the format of the Minsk process, or Supplement the agreement in Minsk by new provisions which should clearly fix the responsibilities of the parties. Under the current format of the Russia such is not responsible, as de jure it is not a party to aggression. In fact, she allegedly plays the role of the assistant of Ukraine to ensure that we put things in order in its territory. This is absurd. In such circumstances, something constructive will be difficult because Russia will continue to hide behind the Minsk process, which it imposed on us. Moreover, Russia has convinced the West that the Minsk process will lead to real progress in resolving the conflict.
— But official Ukrainian side says that without the Minsk process will not progress, with Russia and lift sanctions.
— If such statements have meaning, we must not on the basis of the Minsk format, to offer the mentioned additions as to the liability of the Russian Federation. The world needs to ensure that without such amendments the war will continue. And do not forget about the Crimea. Now we say again that the alternative to the Minsk agreements no. What does it mean? This means a dead end. There is no alternative day and night, and any agreement, who create and sign people, the alternative is always there. Besides, we all got so caught up in complicated military-political and military-economic issues, I see that every day there are new nuances and complexity that must be considered. It is therefore necessary at the legislative level to solve the question of normalization of our relations with the occupied territories and Russia. If we consider Russia as an aggressor, we must take the appropriate decisions at all levels, from Parliament, government to the President. Now for example, I don’t understand what our relationship with Russia. Boris Yeltsin was a man with whom you could negotiate. I always spoke with him, and we took common decisions. It is possible to result many examples when the problems including around the black sea fleet. Now Putin does not want to officially communicate with Poroshenko. So it’s not Putin chose us Poroshenko, and the Ukrainian people! Poroshenko is the representative of the Ukrainian people, and it means that Putin does not want to hear us — Ukrainians. It’s a stalemate.
“In the West do not understand everything that is happening in Ukraine”
This uncertainty gives rise to the occupant to manipulate the situation, to speculate on it. For example, when we started talking about the adoption of the law on occupied territories, the Russian Federation began to launch information, saying that Ukraine needs neither the Crimea, nor Donbass. That is, we were supposed to abandon their own territories.
— Of course, they will use and twist everything in their favor. So we need to convey to the people of Ukraine and the world community that this is our land and we intend to return them. But we will not be able to do that, if we depart from the realities of aggression, occupation, killing thousands of people. Now can’t understand us and the West. In international law and normalized the situation of the ATO, and the situation of the war. It’s all spelled out with the appropriate consequences. Accordingly, if we get that we have a war, then the international community must act in accordance with international law. We are now, as they say in Odessa, “among between there and here.” If we note that we are continuing to ATO, then ration what we must do? To fight terrorists, while the main sponsor of these terrorists is the Kremlin?
As we arrived in Minsk-2, which still can not understand? As it so happened, that the government signed this stub document?
— Official interpretation of the Ukrainian authorities is that when we were on the verge of full-scale aggression, to repel which at the time could not. Of course, the Minsk agreement was given the opportunity to sit at the negotiating table Russia. But, unfortunately, planted not as an aggressor, but as a “peacemaker”. Then we really got into a trap and provisions of the Minsk agreements, which do not correspond to the realities of our domestic laws and Constitution.
But it is clear that if you try to change the format of the talks or to introduce new provisions in the Treaty, Russia will block such an initiative.
— We must therefore take appropriate steps at the level of the West. We can, for example, involve the U.S. and other countries, in particular Poland and the UK. It turns out that in the West do not understand everything that is happening in Ukraine. I was recently in the UK and there felt it. At the level of higher academic institutions like Cambridge University, and political organizations that deal in similar situations, occur to us the questions that should be answered clearly. Otherwise we hang between earth and sky. And we should eventually become feet on the ground.
“Russia started an active aggression when they saw that Ukraine de-facto, not just formal, started to become independent”
In the early 90s, Russia is trying to undermine the situation in Ukraine, in particular questions on Crimea, which could develop into acute phase. As it so happened, then Ukraine, after independence, were able to maintain their integrity, and now that it seems there would be a state, we could not resist in Crimea and the Donbass?
— I would not want to answer this question with positions like, we had been smarter, thoughtful, and wiser. Then was a completely different situation. The Kremlin watched more on their internal problems, and Ukraine, they say, still not going anywhere. Russia has started an active aggression when they saw that Ukraine de-facto, not only formally started to become independent. This was manifested in the protests in the Maidan, which is called the Revolution of dignity. That is, there is a new generation of Ukrainians. But the authorities in the Ukraine as such was not. Ukrainians rose up and demanded real action, and the President left the country in every sense of the word. Accordingly, the Kremlin realized that this situation can be used as the anarchy led to the possibility of invasion. That is why Ukraine needs a strong government with a statist priorities, otherwise the Kremlin will repeat the attempt of aggression.
— As it was possible to avoid this situation?
— I am convinced that it was necessary to give more economic and social rather than political rights and freedoms of the individual regions. What we started to do in recent time in the format of decentralization. Still took a clear program that would make it impossible while speculation about separatism.
— Forced to recall the situation with Lugansk and Donetsk region. In fact, there is a vertical Kiev is absolutely not felt. Since the end of 90s Russia and local oligarchic warlords there felt quite freely. So, maybe we should talk first about the internal Ukrainian integration?
— Russia took advantage of the speculation on the alleged separateness of Ukrainians. But before that, have not been formalized, mehanizmi local government. The uncertainty gave rise to the center to build relationships with the regions as they like. Accordingly, on the one hand like there was a rigid hierarchy in respect of financial and economic relations, but there was a clear and tangible work, like you said, the real internal integration. Mentioned vertical only gave a reason to talk to certain forces that Kiev does not give freedom to the regions, and politicians speculated on superficial beliefs of citizens, for example on bilingualism and nostalgia for the Soviet era.
“Let the people get on his protection, demonstrating the will to NATO on referendum”
— When Ukrainians include the broadcast of session of the Verkhovna Rada and see the fight the deputies and at some point vote for openly imposed on them candidates for certain positions, when the TV on the main TV channels are openly Pro-Russian politicians with veiled rhetoric of the occupier, not deepens the threat of destruction of a state which is still not fully grown?
— So. And not all of this reason. Politicians can propose and promise something, but everything will be in vain if there is no unity around the state priorities. Maybe not all of them understand that they could lose everything. The occupier will not spare anyone, including those who are currently working for him inside the country. There are striking examples. You know that I chair the Committee Ukraine-NATO, which also includes Yevhen Marchuk. We have repeatedly insisted, and did everything in order to place a referendum on the attitude of Ukrainian citizens to NATO membership. The President has delayed this initiative. He seems to be agrees that such a referendum should be held, and on the other hand, says that you need to spend it later, when we’re ready. I always say that if in the Bialowieza forest we started from the position of the signing of the agreement after we finished, we probably would not have signed today. Therefore, all you need to do on time. We missed a lot of time. Catastrophic lot. We risk to pass the point of no return, when it will be too late to save the state. Let me remind you, the Ukrainian people have supported us by an absolute majority. It is the people supported Ukraine when the war began, and the Ukrainians themselves have created battalions, which were to defend the state. Because there was a common goal and a common danger. So let people get on his protection, demonstrating the will to NATO in the referendum. Then NATO will see that it is not a temporary desire of the current government to join the Alliance, and the desire of the people of Ukraine. This is a powerful and convincing argument. For Russia, we are still the bride, not married. If we get married in the European community, NATO, are so rude “look after” for us Russia will not be. While we one-on-one with the aggressor.
— If you have already remembered about NATO, the current President and not prescribed in the law on internal and external security of the ultimate goal of joining the Alliance. He was limited to only formula on the achievement of criteria of NATO.
— The law does not even indicate who is the aggressor. As if we have no such, and therefore no war. Why don’t they want to prescribe in the law that the aggressor is Russia? The same applies to the criteria for NATO. You need to clearly prescribe: Ukraine’s goal of NATO membership.
“The dominance of the oligarchy in the context of lawlessness is a Ukrainian tragedy.”
More than twenty years ago, you took the unprecedented decision that none of the presidents could not dare you go to early elections. Then the portraits of your opponent Leonid Kuchma hung in Lugansk with the proposal of integration with Russia and the introduction of bilingualism. It took two decades. What are the flaws acquired during this time, the power elite?
— The power was not the power that runs the country, and the government, which is oligarchy and became oligarchy. Domination of oligarchy in the context of lawlessness is a Ukrainian tragedy. I all the time insisted on the necessity of separation and the maximum separation of power from business, and since the mid-90s, the opposite happened.
Between government and business became criminals.
— Of course. Each has a place in this awful combination. Now it is not clear that these people are more important than private business or government. Imagine Shcherbitsky oligarch. This is nonsense. Now we have this all accustomed to. In the West, rich people in power exists in a very different legal field, all other terms of the control of the society and the relevant authorities. We have no one to imagine even can not that can judge the President.
— How and who criticises the current government, we have the sad experience, when coupled with the loss of the President, whatever it was, we lost part of the territory. That should make the current government to keep itself and keep the state?
— The feeling is that the people who led the country had no experience of state building. It seemed to them that it is simple and easy. Remember how the President of Ukraine said that the war will end in two weeks? So I still hear from the authorities things which cause confusion. How can you talk without knowing the real possibilities? Poroshenko should know that we have an army at that time was weak, and the country everywhere there are Pro-Russian forces. So his words are either populism or ignorance of the real situation. It leads people astray. So the President should finally understand that its subsequent fate of this high office depends on whether or not to trust him. And it needs to correlate with actions.