© Photo “Voice of Russia”
Western states will not be able to achieve Russia’s international isolation in the wake of the Ukrainian crisis, says Head of the State Duma Committee for International Affairs, Alexei Pushkov.
“It seems to me that all talk about the international isolation of Russia is not productive. It is impossible to isolate Russia,” Pushkov told Interfax Sunday.
He stressed that there are other countries, besides those 28 states united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
“And we have not heard that any statements were made by the overwhelming majority of countries, including the big ones – the leading countries – such as China, India and some others, over the decisions taken by Russia yesterday,” Pushkov said.
Therefore, he believes that any attempt the Western countries might make will be doomed. He also stressed that isolation hadn’t worked in the case of Georgia’s breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Earlier, the US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said that, should the situation around Ukraine continue to deteriorate, the political and economic isolation of Russia will become even deeper.
The West should carefully analyze the gravity of Ukraine’s crisis and make balanced decisions on settling the situation, rather than act in a Cold War spirit with regard to Russia, the Chairman of the Russian Duma International Affairs Committee, Alexei Pushkov, said in a statement.
The situation in Ukraine is highly unusual, with part of the population refusing to recognize the current government and demanding that they be protected against the ultranationalist trends that have come in full force there, Pushkov said in an interview with the Interfax news agency on Sunday.
He feels that now that the West is deciding on its policy on Ukraine, it may one of follow two directions, a hysterically aggressive one, turning a blind eye to the actual problem and reacting in the framework of anti-Russian instincts that the political class of the United States and some European countries is known for; or it may follow a balanced and pragmatic scenario.
The Russian MP believes that whatever fellow feeling the western countries may have for Ukraine’s current leaders, they cannot ignore the fact that the Kiev authorities have little, if any control of Ukraine, as well as the fact that the ultra-right pro-Nazi forces have gone on a rampage, patrolling Kiev streets in clothes bearing SS insignia, threatening the non-Ukrainian population and urging Chechen terrorists to join forces with them in fighting Russia.
“I think Western politicians shouldn’t and will be unable to turn a blind eye to that pressing problem of modern-day Ukraine infinitely,” Pushkov says.
He feels that the western leaders should also admit that the people in several Ukrainian cities have refused to recognize the legality of the current authorities and moves by the Kiev-based government.
The Russian MP points out that Russian flags have been hoisted over quite a few regional administration buildings in Donetsk, Kharkov, Mariupol Melitopol, Simferopol, and Odessa. These cities have been the scene of huge rallies of protest against the Kiev authorities, they say they will take no orders from Kiev, and this actually happens throughout eastern and southeastern Ukraine, and one can’t ignore that, the Russian MP points out.
“If the western countries accepted the Euromaidan protests in Kiev as an expression of the people’s will, how can they deny the residents of Ukraine’s huge eastern and southern cities the right to the expression of their own will?”
Nor can the West refuse to admit, Pushkov says, that the agreement between Victor Yanukovych and the opposition of February 21st, which was signed in the presence of the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and Poland, has failed to be implemented.
“The West should give a thought to the idea of what kind of Ukraine they support. Is it the Kiev-based government, which is incapable of controlling the situation in Ukraine without resorting to violence? They should decide if violence against the people in the east and southeast of Ukraine is the right way to support the government in Kiev. The West should also answer the question of why it recognizes the right of the people of Kosovo, for example, to their self-determination, but denies the right to the expression of their own free will to the people of Crimea. The West should, besides, give a thought to the question of who will pay for the currently semi-destroyed Ukraine, which has been left destitute. Nor should the West forget about the fact that Ukraine has been kept afloat to this day thanks to natural gas deliveries that Russia has been supplying at a reduced price. But there’s been no sign whatsoever that the West is prepared to invest heavily in the Ukrainian economy. But is the West prepared to grant Ukraine loans and help settle the country’s financial and economic problems, given Ukraine’s instability due to the Kiev authorities’ moves and appeals by ultranationalist gangs that only serve to further destabilize the situation? Is the West capable of coping with Ukraine’s financial disaster without other countries, such as Russia, taking part?” Alexei Pushkov asks.
International observers in Crimea would disappoint the United States as they would witness powerful pro-Russian sentiments among the local residents, Chairman of the Russian State Duma International Committee Alexei Pushkov wrote on his Twitter page.
“The United States is pushing for an observer mission to be sent to Crimea immediately. But the United States will be disappointed to see powerful pro-Russian sentiments,” he said.
Earlier, US Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power told the UN Security Council that international observers, including from the UN and the OSCE should immediately be sent to Ukraine.
It’s the best way to monitor the situation and prevent violations of human rights, she said.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev had a telephone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Saturday during which he expressed interest in preserving stable and friendly relations with Ukraine, the Russian government press service says.
“However, it was noted that the Russian side reserves the right to protect the lawful interests of citizens and servicemen deployed in the territory the Autonomous Republic of Crimea,” the press service said. Russian armed forces “in case of need have the right to act in the framework of the mandate issued by the Federation Council to the president,” Medvedev said.
“Also during the conversation Medvedev pointed out to the possible responsibility of Ukrainian officials, if they make unlawful decisions on the use of force against Russian citizens,” the press service said.