ArmInfo’s interview with President the KyIv-based Center for European and Transatlantic Studies Alexey Kolomiyets
by David Stepanyan
The West-Russia confrontation in Ukraine is growing, with the West already showing tough attitudes even towards its own companies working in Russia. As a result, a lot of money and technologies are flowing out of Russia. Can these measures sober the Kremlin and to give start to a real dialogue on Ukraine?
It is high time to realize fundamentally that the ongoing global conflict will have global consequences. It is not a new 'cold war.' What we have now is "a return of history," a direct confrontation of the West, or what has remained from the West, and 'a coalition of dark forces and evil' headed by Russia. And Ukraine proved on the front line of that confrontation. It seems that the West is late. The economic sanctions against Russia and the Kremlin's regime were to be imposed immediately after occupation of Crimea. Now, these sanctions will not be as efficient as necessary. In addition, the EU has already played its role, and did it poorly and cowardly. After all, it would be naive expecting more from the EU. In this light, there is need for new forces and structures in the geopolitical arena. It will hardly be NATO. Apparently, it will be a coalition that can be conventionally called 'a coalition of liberty.' Putin and the Kremlin will hardly sober up with such measures. "Quite the contrary, Putin's mad regime destroys the entire architecture of the post-WWII and 'cold war' policy. Putin's cabal does it consciously and providently. Only a power that seeks to destroy and change power in Russia without splitting it is able to stop Putin's strategy.
Can the West's sanctions against Russia are able to affect formation of the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union?
Russia's leadership will ramp up pressure on the Customs Union members to stop 'abandonment,' which is quite possible, indeed. The strange irony of it all is that the West's sanctions may prove more disastrous for the CU and Eurasian Union members rather than for Russia. No one knows if it will spark a new more powerful wave of 'abandonment' or not. However, Putin's regime has already launched an open economic war against Moldova, Ukraine, and Georgia, which will collapse the CIS. Putin's Kremlin unleashed an economic war against Poland. Baltic States are the next. In Ukraine they have been waiting for the Government's decision to start an economic war against Russia for a long time already. Ukraine's Government has already made a decision to immediately prepare sanctions against Russia. If Ukraine imposes sanctions against Putin and his cabal, Moldova, Poland, the Baltic and other states will follow its example. I am sure that Ukraine must join the sanctions of the EU and the U.S. against Russia.
The Supreme Rada's refusal to accept Arseniy Yatsenyuk's resignation. Was it a protest against his Cabinet’s unpopular measures?
This is a political game and its goal is to organize mid-term parliamentary elections. This goal has almost been achieved: in Oct we will reelect the parliament. I can't predict the results. It will be a military election but we have no other way but to hold it. Poroshenko and Yatseyuk have assumed the whole responsibility for Ukraine. The Ukrainians will reward them for this during the elections. And their fundamental criteria will be a victory over Russia and its bandits.
Concerning the crash of the Malaysian Boeing we still have more questions than answers, with the charges against Russia being as unproved as the ones against Ukraine and the United States. What is your version of this accident?
The crash was part of President Putin's strategy. The plane was hit by a Russian missile. Putin had a clear strategic plan but he made a mistake. And now, the only concern of the world community must be to make the Russian organizers of this tragedy answer before the Hague Tribunal.
The southeast of Ukraine is heading for a humanitarian disaster. Isn’t it time for Ukraine to sober up and to stop being a laboratory rat for Russia and the West?
In order to prevent a real humanitarian disaster in the southeast of Ukraine, the Ukrainian authorities must destroy the aggressor by all existing means. They have enough means to do it, they simply lack political will and courage. The Ukrainian people want their authorities to be tougher in their military actions.
Apparently, Crimea has already turned into another 'black hole' for Russia, like Chechnya, where Russian taxpayers' billions are pumped in. Isn’t this why the Kremlin is more careful in its calls for reintegration with the separatist regimes in the southeast of Ukraine? Or are there more serious factors?
Such developments were predictable. The Kremlin sought to create a fortress in Crimea and is doing it now, being absolutely unaware that in Crimea there are people, and many are not reliable from the political point of view. Developments in Crimea are a powerful geopolitical challenge to the entire Black Sea region and the regions bordering it. Military attacks on Ukraine's eastern regions are part of a wide conception. Even in case of failure in the east of Ukraine, other mechanisms will be included in that concept in other European regions that have already been 'targeted' by the Kremlin.