“112”: In the framework of the final program “Tyzhden” with us today the first President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk. Congratulations to you. Ukraine has already received bezviz. Is it true that it completely separates Ukraine from Russia and bringing it closer to the European community?
Leonid Kravchuk: If it were so easy to solve such issues, which evolved over the centuries — make a decision and they immediately all agreed, life would be extremely simple. Unfortunately, it is not. It is the desire of the people, their aspirations, recognition of Ukraine as a civilized European country. This is the essence. But to break away from Russia is a large internal transformation of people who evolved over the centuries. Here mixed faith and national issues, home, family. Every year in Ukraine came to 1 million Russians, and every year from Ukraine went where 900 million, including working and living. Thus, a person becomes a citizen of Ukraine. It’s all there. Head East, Center and West Ukraine — it is radically different and by faith, mentality, nationality, political preferences. So it is simplistic to approach this issue. Bezviz is bezviz, and away from Russia is a little different.
— In this context — the law of quotas for Ukrainian language television and radio. You are talking about the regional difference of the Ukraine — is it appropriate then for all to adopt the same rules?
— Language is another evaluation category. The language is the soul of the people, a sign of the state, and the tongue, unlike bezveza, appears in the tenth article of the Constitution. Language is not negotiable. It has to be Ukrainian, and the more saturated the information space of Ukraine a state language, the more we will receive benefits as a state. The state with the sign “Ukraine” and not just unknown with what is familiar. The laws can be offered, to accept it, but to manipulate language. The Constitution says that the state promotes the development of other languages: you can contribute, but not replace the Ukrainian language with others.
— How did it happen that the Constitution is very seldom look more and more manipulated by bills or have already adopted laws?
— All of our five presidents make a Constitution for themselves. Not for the state of Ukraine. The main goal is to record such provisions, which would give more rights, more powers. The challenge is to make the Constitution beneficial for himself and not as a social contract between society and the authorities. Therefore, we do not even have time to understand the changes that are made to the Constitution. But on the basis of constitutional norms published a large number of decrees and laws, and this number can be quite difficult to understand. While we are parts, pieces are added to the Constitution changes, we have now a Constitution, about which you can say, is the only constitutional body, which issued all the problems of the state and where there are no internal contradictions. We have now a Constitution, about which you can say that all the articles of the Constitution are written so that none of them contradict each other. It happened because we have not yet managed to form state bodies on the basis of common constitutional norms.
— Perhaps some of these contradictions it is necessary to remove? What do you know about the initiatives regarding the need for changes in the Constitution in terms of a bicameral Parliament and reducing the role of the President?
— I know about such discussions outside Parliament. But they are not as massive to be able to talk about them as serious discussions. While the project document is not submitted to the Parliament, we can talk about the discussion of conspiracies, but this is not about the question posed for decision. While it is the desire of some people or some small, not too authoritative on the Ukraine forces.
— Our Western partners are interested in a government in Ukraine is clearly a vertical or horizontal spray?
They are interested in that Ukraine was in order. To avoid corruption, to avoid violations of the laws and the Constitution, to go reform. And we can carry out reforms with enhanced political will, all of our power — but it is not. Our Western partners are interested in that we have adopted laws act. They want us to be democratic, legal, civilized state. To force the law to act in Ukraine.
— You see that there is a common understanding of what should be Ukraine in a year or two?
— I think, yet unfortunately to one position was the Parliament, President and local authorities. Therefore, every government often interprets its position depending on what the situation in the state. Each government should consider not only the Constitution and laws, but also as the Constitution and laws to adapt to the crazy changes, contradictions, which are in Ukraine, not to cause new contradictions. There is the letter of the Constitution, as is the spirit of the Constitution. You can stand only on the letter, and it will be formally correct, but is the will of the people, concentrated in the notion of the spirit of the Constitution. And it is necessary to consider what is living, what are the plans to build, what purpose is the people. The main thing to know about is people, and it is the West, the East, is the Center. There are features that need to be taken into account in every law that takes BP, they will be implemented with the same norms, desires and perceptions in all regions of Ukraine. Here is the art of making law in Ukraine.
— Somehow can’t sew…
— When in Ukraine, 70% of people, and it’s statistics, including the UN, live below the poverty line in the state with a structure and with such a psychological imbalance, inherited from the Soviet era, with the pressure of Russia on Ukraine, it is very difficult to sew. But we have to go — no other way. We are a European state. We are committed to European civic values, norms. The government should analyse the problems of departure of our citizens and thus influence them so that most people remained in Ukraine. We need to change our internal capabilities, to develop the economy, to attract investment to yourself. We must act each in its place.
— Bezviz bezveza, but the Ukrainians within the state is not very travel.
— This will be the case, unfortunately. Even in the United States millions of people are not going anywhere. You do not need to be in a state of euphoria that now everything will go to the West. But the question that such a decision is recognition of Ukraine as a state with European perspective, European principles, ancient, not just today. And we certainly should be proud of.
— In the Parliament say they need “visas” with Russia.
— Russia war. And all the decisions taken by the Parliament, he evaluates them through war, annexation, information aggression, brought just to the point of absurdity, on the part of Russia. So you need to understand people making such a proposal. But my opinion — it is not true. We cannot say that it is generally not required. Let’s see what will be on the possibility of relations with Russia, with other countries, then you need to make that decision. A lot of people working in Russia, and this can become a very bad rule.
Is treacherous or in need — those who during the war goes to work in Russia?
— I would not call them traitors. The traitor goes with a specific purpose: a saboteur, a spy or just wants to become a citizen of Russia and live by her standards. And Russia 150 years of fighting, and some people like that. But all called traitors — it would be a gross exaggeration and an insult to the people.
— Occupied Donbas is removed or is close to the Ukraine?
— Not approaching — he had retired seriously. Although a lot of people living in the occupied areas, have sympathy for Ukraine. To say that everything our enemies — that would be wrong. 2 million people have left the regions and are now in different regions of Ukraine. If they are there would be good — they would have stayed. We see how they behave, the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk “leaders” to act like mercenaries, they reach the political and moral insanity. I think time is not on them, so just to disassociate themselves from the Donbass, we can’t. Although the problem of neogranichena exist: open border, open the possibility of penetration in the Ukrainian territory controlled by the Ukrainian authorities. So let’s stand and work.
To endure in the Minsk format, or perhaps some other search?
Format is never eternal. We had the Geneva format, but I think that Putin has convinced the German Chancellor and French President to this format to move to Minsk. He persuaded the need that there were representatives of “LNR-DNR”. We are unable politically and diplomatically, to assume that taking these people in Minsk, we said that we have an internal war. That is, the civil war between the people who represent Ukraine and those, which represent occupied regions. Russia immediately began to speculate that she’s an observer, she isn’t actively participating, it helps us. Therefore, this Minsk format in this composition and such a philosophy can not resolve the basic question of principle — to return the territory of Ukraine, to restore the border to Ukrainian authorities set up in all territories. He can decide to change its status.
— Due to the expansion of the participants?
— Expansion of participants, and improving the status of those involved. In the Normandy format involves the head, but he did not accept any document that could be read. It conveys what’s going on in Minsk and Minsk are making decisions that, again, is not signed by the heads of state. The Minsk format is the forced position of Ukraine. Ukraine has made a mistake at the time, and used it, and now we are stymied. We have to say that this format is needed because without it it would be even worse.
— What is the error?
We made the adoption of the document, which put us in a difficult position. Namely, that we should change the Constitution, to hold elections in the occupied territories. We proceeded from the fact that it is necessary to read all the paragraphs, and read as beneficial to politicians. Russian reads differently, we mine.
But they are all numbered from 1st to 12th.
But there is nowhere said that they start with the first one. But why, even with this approach, write a paragraph that we are going to change the Constitution? The Constitution is the right of national. Holy national cause. There can be no double standards and no one under any circumstances should not make any attempts to change the Constitution. We do not have now such power, such authority, to offer a new format or this format is to be filled with provisions, more realistically implemented.
And Washington has such authority in this process?
— Yes, but for their country, not ours. If Washington offer something different, it may be argued Russia, and Washington will not go to the big confrontation is necessary, that it was the desire of all. But Ukraine has this problem continuously break, to argue, to convince, to prepare our friends who don’t always understand Ukraine, this format, in this direction, will not give us the opportunity to solve the core issue. Although some issues are resolved. Russia is behaving like a bull in a China shop, — it is no one wants to be considered, all her “enemies”, it is one is a “civilizational” work, including through the faith of the Church does not consider the opinion of Ukraine. She leads a frenzied propaganda work in the West and spends a lot of money. Thus, we have in Russia a nation that wants to destroy Ukraine. Here we have a very big effort to prevent such a scenario. Any steps that can exacerbate — should be avoided through diplomatic channels.
— At what stage of the journey of independence of Ukraine took place so that he let go of the reins of the Pro-Ukrainian propaganda?
— We never were. We are not organized, not trained personnel, did not prepare a conceptual position. Under Yanukovych’s defense Minister was Russian, the head of the SBU — Russian. And in the East they directly went to his in Kursk region and appointed to very important positions, through the security service. With this turn Russia waiting for Ukraine to finally swallow peacefully. Finance, banks are inundated, the company bought. And when Ukraine turned and went to the West, began to adopt normative documents and implement them — Russia saw that he could lose Ukraine. And when she felt it she began to use force.
— What was first: the fact that Russia would not let Ukraine to the West, and then the Revolution of Dignity, or the Revolution of Dignity?
— I think Russia was never released. Yeltsin in 1993, over dinner, asked me if I believe that Ukraine will follow the European path. I said that the Belovezhskaya agreement says that each nation chooses which way to go. He said that 95 out of 100 people, if asked, on the red square will not want Ukraine away from Russia. I was skeptical, but after what I saw during the war, and the behavior of the Russian intelligentsia, the bulk of how to behave not only in the Kremlin, but outside the Kremlin, I realized how deeply looked at this question Yeltsin. The fundamental question of Russia — not to let the Ukraine. For them, it is so important that it permeates their foreign policy. And when they now raise the question of restoring the borders of the tsarist Empire, it is included here, and Ukraine. Patriarch Kirill always says that only the canonical territory of his, and to include Ukraine, Belarus. I mean, he’s the boss of the Russian Church. And it is in the canons recorded. I believe that the Church must be very careful. Don’t need no pressure from politicians. And there are those interested in the power to expel from the Russian churches, they believe, or Ukrainian Orthodox priests. This should not be allowed. It’s not safe, because millions of believers. The most delicate question — faith and nationality. I also want to single Ukrainian Church, and the Ecumenical Patriarch on this thinking. Politicians, especially unskilled, without appropriate knowledge, it is impossible for this to happen. The spiritual father of Yanukovych, Patriarch Kirill, so he acted the way he spoke his mind.
— From what point of view you now, perhaps, sorry for Yanukovych?
I have no pity yourself. Man, embarked on the path of politics, and wants to be pitied, he must choose: either stay at home, and you will regret, or go into politics and fight. Politics is the struggle for power, the official. It only comes to forms of this struggle. There is a culture of struggle, culture is below the waterline, and there are quite a swamp culture. So we are now somewhere in the swamp culture, when we conduct elections. We have not yet risen to a culture that allows people freely, democratically, to choose.
— If politics is a struggle for power, for that is now fighting ex-President Yanukovych?
— For the return of his status, because he believes that he was fired illegally. I think it’s more of a fake fight because he understands that this struggle will result. Although, maybe someone uses it. It’s all a game of small men in politics.
— Who should be afraid (or have nothing to fear) of the current officials of Ukraine, when it comes to their interview in the process of treason Yanukovych?
— I was not involved in the issues that were resolved while on the Maidan. We, the presidents, met with Yanukovych and told him some things. I told him to release from posts of heads of all power structures, the resignation of the entire government, not to prevent bloodshed, to peacefully change the government. I saw what could be a big problem. I personally spent three occupation: Polish, Soviet, German, and now Russian. I didn’t want to, because I saw that the possible consequences, it is very difficult for Ukraine, which, unfortunately, was confirmed: that the annexation of Crimea and the war in the East. I wanted a round table, where drew and the government and the opposition to negotiate. Joined the West — but failed. If we did, I think that would be a different situation.
— Yanukovych was the inability or the environment?
— All. Authorities believed that she was doing the right thing, and the opposition did not even want to conduct conversations in this regard. Change — immediately. Didn’t find the strength to have the power to make such a decision, which the opposition demanded. And it had to be done.
— There are some conditions under which the Kremlin will give Kiev Yanukovych?
— No, it’s impossible to put this question. First, in Russia, its attitude to Ukraine, and secondly, Yanukovych is one of the leaders of Ukraine, which is not only the way of relationships, but also allowed Russia to act in Ukraine is very non-Ukrainian way.
— Didn’t realized the dream that was the Maidan.
— I had the opportunity to seriously study the question of revolution generally in the world. As a rule, the essence of the revolution lies in the fact that those who make half a revolution, and they form the government. We had a strange miracle: a revolution of the early youth, it was joined by the adult citizens, millions of people came out, and control of the Maidan took other people who did not start the revolution, including Yatsenyuk, Tyagnibok, Poroshenko, Klitschko. At first they were strangers, they even did not want to communicate. Strangers in a revolutionary situation, agree on everything. Their discussions would lead. If they begin discussions, they expelled me from the Maidan. They took everything that was said on the Maidan, and zealously that will be all. And made so many promises that you can accomplish in 100 years. And when the time came power, we have to sit down and consider the possibilities. And they saw that their promises are impossible. All of this brewed in a large cauldron, in which he lost an important question — who did it? Who is to blame? What has led to such bloodshed? It is now known. And then another began and corruption, and the banks, because the people who came, there were no such beliefs as those that were standing there. We deeply analyzed the sources, the beginning of the revolution, the role of Russia, not found customers, responsible to people to say. I want us to all do not fit simplistic. Public relations is the complex of all emotions, families, ethnic groups, the roots of our history. This is a series of complex problems, and one solution only people who did not learn anything in politics.
— If the situation cannot be simplified, then maybe its possible to change? For example, early parliamentary elections?
— I don’t mind extraordinary, but first it is necessary to adopt a law on elections. If under existing law, elections are held, will choose the same, and maybe worse. Therefore, to adopt a new law on elections to the Parliament, the President, to clarify all the details, taking into account national and international experience. To adopt such laws that would limit the penetration in the power of random people.
— I am grateful to you, Mr. President.
Good luck to you. I wish your channel to make it work. I know there are a lot of people willing to buy it, maybe not always for noble purposes, so stand your ground and guide the work that you see fit. Freedom of speech should be, but it does not mean shouting and hatred. The word is a weapon, sharp, and it should be perfect. The word has to convince and beat someone who does not want to see.
Paul Kuzeev, editor and presenter of the TV channel “112 Ukraine”.