Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
All the agreements that Russia signed after the collapse of the Soviet Union with western “partners” were never implemented by Americans or Europeans. But the US and European Union countries always demanded their scrupulous implementation by the Russian side. Unfortunately, today it’s impossible to expect an honest game concerning the Minsk Agreements too, which Ukraine signed under the threat of a military defeat [Debaltsevo cauldron – ed]. As soon as the situation was normalised, there were attempts to rewrite them and to deceive Moscow.
European countries now insist on entering [UN – ed] peacekeepers. This topic was raised at the very first meetings concerning a peaceful settlement. Back then, in reply to representatives of the OSCE, I proposed to enter a foreign contingent onto the entire territory of Ukraine. What arguments did the Ukrainian side have? They claimed that it is impossible to hold elections in Donbass because Ukrainian politicians and activists won’t be able to come to Donetsk or Lugansk in order to carry out there their propaganda. But agitators from the DPR and LPR also won’t be able to come to Ukraine. Who will ensure the safety of the representatives of Donbass? If to allow UN military personnel only in Donbass, this, let’s agree, is a unilateral approach.
The Americans want the reintegration of Donetsk and Lugansk to look like Russia’s capitulation. I find it hard to imagine how it could be possible to fulfil these agreements. How will Moscow watch the ethnic cleaning and punishment of activists of the “Russian spring” – violent Ukrainisation. Upon arrival in Ukraine [reintegration – ed], Russian people in Donbass will be simply killed on camera. Of course, it will smash the approval rating of the authorities in the Russian Federation, and will demoralise the patriots of Russia and all Russian people in the world.
As for Kiev, it also has no desire to attach the republics of Donbass to itself. There are many reasons for such a position, but I will name one that nobody earlier mentioned: for Ukraine, implementing the Minsk Agreements means to lose $10 billion. When the payment in instalments of Ukrainian credits was signed, the country was in a pre-bankrupt state. But if Kiev declared itself bankrupt, the IMF would lose the opportunity to inject money into the country. That’s why Yatsenyuk signed unprofitable conditions for the paying back of external debts. Their sense is such: if suddenly the GDP of Ukraine grows, then the government must pay a very generous bonus. Creditors fairly decided that after the post-Maidan falling of the economy there will be obligatory growth. And if Kiev returns the DPR and LPR under its control, GDP would immediately increase by 20%. This would lead to the payment of a bonus to the sum of about ten billion dollars. Nobody wants such losses.
At the same time Americans in principle are for the Minsk Agreements being implemented by all parties. But now Ukraine interests the US as a battering ram against Russia. And they will push forward the realisation of a peaceful settlement in such a way that it hits the image of the Russian authorities as painfully as possible. It is also quite possible that the Americans will start to closely attend to Ukraine in order to try to make it – at least for a while – a prospering State with a successful economy and a wealthy population. Moreover, it is possible to do it so that Ukrainians pay for all of this. Chernozems, nuclear power plants, metallurgy, ports, and railroads have an incomparably bigger cost than a short “feast during the plague”.
But if to raise the standard of living in Ukraine above Russia’s, to put pressure on Russian oligarchs, to financially stimulate the internal Russian opposition, then the consequences for Moscow can be very unpleasant.
The cost of such intra Ukrainian modernisation is absolutely small according to American standards. For them in general it is much more cheaper to try to ruin Russia from within than to, for example, defeat it via war. Americans already started moving in this direction and to allocate money for Ukraine, but it, alas, is quickly plundered. Just the oligarch Kolomoisky withdrew about eight billion dollars out of Privatbank. And most of this money is American.
The western curators of Kiev insist on introducing anti-corruption services precisely with the aim of stopping corruption and the plundering of their own finances. The West wouldn’t be engaged in combatting bribes in Ukraine if it didn’t give money to Ukraine and wasn’t going to give them even more. So far in the fight of the Americans against corrupt Ukrainian officials, corrupt officials are winning.
If indeed bribe takers in Ukraine are defeated, the results will be quite good, the standard of living will significantly rise. This, according to the logic of Washington, will again hit Russia. Today 30% of agricultural equipment was modernised in 2 years. American companies lease out equipment with a zero first contribution under 2% per annum. Examples of such a quick speed of the modernisation of agriculture can be found only at the time of the Soviet Union. American grant programs work successfully. $1.5 billion was allocated for the creation of new jobs. Yes, most of this money didn’t reach recipients, but many Ukrainian organisations managed to obtain financing and, the most important thing, these programs continue to work.
Most of my acquaintances supported the “Russian spring” because they are real patriots of Russia. But I know that there were also those who came to the referendum in Crimea because in the Russian Federation the standard of living is higher. How will such people behave if the situation goes in the opposite direction?
But so far the Americans haven’t had special success in Ukraine. They understood that as long as Poroshenko is in power, they won’t be able to modernise the country. That’s why for the US today the ideal option is to replace not only the president of the country, but also the whole team of the authorities with completely new people who are their own [controlled by America – ed].
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