Ukrainian Analyst Aleksandr Lazarev: Ukraine Will Not Join the EU, Since It Is Needed by Nobody

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


Why the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs allowed the international scandal with Hungary? When will Ukraine enter the EU and NATO, if it will enter there at all? And how to build an independent state in which every citizen will feel safe?

These are the topics that the “Dialogue” program of Glavnovosti with the political scientist Aleksandr Lazarev was devoted to.

Our Ministry of Foreign Affairs experienced a “week of fiascos”. Why did this happen? What was the reason for this?

“I think that first of all, the ‘professionalism’ of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was the reason for this. The position that they took in relation to their European colleagues and neighbours in general shows me a lack of high-quality preparation or a misunderstanding of global tendencies that are now happening.

A living example – let’s not discuss our relation with Russia and in general with the East, let’s take our mythical European integration.

It indeed became mythical, it was in principle already mythical since the beginning of 2018, when the geopolitical situation changed and we ceased to interest our western partners.

Ukraine can’t enter into the EU at this stage, and in principle I think from the point of view of economic expediency for the EU, we aren’t needed by them, and from the point of view of political profitability, we lost it. Our political appeal at this stage is equal to zero. Nobody wants to subsidise us and won’t in the future either.

The second point is our relations with our European colleagues – the countries that were once called the lawyers of Ukraine in the EU: Hungary and Poland.

Recently we expelled the Hungarian consul from Ukraine. Respectively, we received a similar reaction from Budapest. This is also an interesting question.

Here there are the manoeuvres of the Ukrainian army in Transcarpathia. I can’t understand why it was done. Whether it is non-professionalism, or again it is a clear plot to anger the Hungarians even more and to cause a negative reaction. What army are we sending there?

Against who? Against NATO? It is said that we will repel the Hungarian offensive. Firstly, there won’t be any Hungarian offensive. Secondly, it is necessary to consider one unique correct point – Hungary is a member of NATO, unlike us.

If we declare that we seek to enter into NATO, then we need to find a common language with our future partners. However, we don’t do this.

And if it isn’t being done, then it’s not being done purposefully. It is impossible to put up an argument proceeding from the viewpoint that European partners are stupid.

Respectively, Hungary isn’t an independent state, it is part of the defence of the Atlantic world, as well as Poland.

What is interesting. Poland competes for superiority in having an anti-Russian position and does everything so that Ukraine doesn’t enter into the EU. Everything is interconnected.

This one more piece of proof that clear agreements exist. Hungary clearly declared that it will block all Ukrainian initiatives in the EU.

The European integration of Ukraine must be adopted unanimously, and if someone is against it, then everything is postponed for later.

That’s why the statements of Mr president and the billboards that say the future of Ukraine is in NATO and the EU are pure disinformation.”

Can it be that Mr Klimkin strains relations with Hungary in accordance with instructions from the FSB?

“It is difficult to judge. More likely, Mr Klimkin does it in accordance with the instructions of the Ukrainian authorities. And the Ukrainian authorities do it in accordance with the instructions of the European authorities, and it is difficult to say in accordance with what task the European authorities act.”

After all, Gritsak should look good and hard in order to know if he is searching in the right place for agents of the Kremlin…

“Yes, by the way. Concerning agents of the Kremlin it is also a surprising thing. Even not surprising, but shocking.

Every discordant person, every politician or person in the public sphere can be prosecuted for their alternative point of view, which differs from the officially declared position of the state. It this democracy or what? What are we building?

What are we showing to the European and world community? It is a shame to hide behind one set of values and then to cultivate internal Nazism. This is wrong. After all, everyone notices it.

Perhaps the average Ukrainian may not see it, but European colleagues who fixedly watch how the situation develops notice all of this. Every Ukrainian should ask themselves a question, having distanced themselves from foreign policy: what do we want here in Ukraine?

I think that everyone agrees that we want to live comfortably, healthily, and safely. What does it mean to live comfortably? It means to eat meat without antibiotics, it means to drink milk that isn’t a powder, and it means to drink water without antibiotics.

In other words, it is high-quality food and a qualitative life. Now, what is a healthy life? It means to have accessible and proper medicine. Do we indeed have no sensible doctors?

It is possible to take the best doctor in Ukraine and to appoint him [as the Minster of Healthcare – ed], i.e. someone who has notions of social medicine.

But we took a woman – I can’t call her a doctor, since she has no higher medical education, who comes here and declares that it is good for the skin to have sex at 11 years of age, and that it is normal to sit on a cold surface.

I’m not qualified enough to comment really, but I think that it wrong. I am not a doctor, but in my opinion this is neglect of our nation and our people. Foreigners, coming here, show their haughty attitude towards us.

Furthermore, what is a safe life? It is there isn’t any external threat for Ukraine, when it is possible to quietly walk on the streets, without looking over your shoulder. And what is needed for this purpose and what does Ukraine do for this purpose? Is it possible to choose those leaders that have a transnational business? I don’t think so.

When we say that we will enter into NATO, why don’t we think that on our border, its northern part, there is a neighbour – a superstate with the most powerful army.

Once again, I’m not making propaganda, but I ascertain that this superpower declared that any movements of Ukraine towards NATO will be apprehended as a threat to their national security.

NATO will opt for a conflict with Russia for the sake of this? NATO will never opt for a direct conflict with the Russian Federation, because the Russian army, unlike NATO’s, is a cut above.

That’s why the admission of Ukraine in NATO is possible only if NATO ceases to pose a threat to Russia and changes its vector, etc. Otherwise, this is excluded. All these statements concerning the Ukrainian future in NATO and the EU are simply slogans.

Let’s remember how 1-2 years ago a high-ranking Ukrainian official gave advice to the president of the Czech Republic concerning his daughter.

What sort of level of diplomacy is this in general? I’m not speaking about the professional qualities of certain diplomats. They indeed exist. We have competent ambassadors who execute their work well, but the external vector that we choose is exclusively wrong.

In order to live like in Europe, there is no need to persecute the church, and the language law shouldn’t be changed, there is a need to lift the economy. And how can the economy be lifted?

First of all, there is a need for a sales markets. That’s why it is necessary not to quarrel with neighbors, but to sign some trade agreements. And concerning the cancellation of the ‘Treaty of friendship‘, albeit a formal treaty that actually didn’t bear anything, instead of improving it, we terminated it.

After all, we have the gas transit system. And what statements does the head of ‘Naftogaz’ make? That will they bill ‘Gazprom’ for 12 billion if the latter refuses to transit gas via our gas transport system?

As I see it, and I may be wrong, but for example, if someone bought a chicken in a shop 1, 2, 3, 5 years in a row. He bought it, but then decided to make his own mini-farm and stopped to buy.

And the seller in the shop then comes and says that he is filing a lawsuit because he stopped to buy. It is the same situation.

We must improve diplomatic relations and create the conditions so that gas is transported through our space, and not to create the conditions so that everyone bypasses us.

In fact, we lost the Russian sales markets and many Eastern partners because, allegedly, they are enemies and we mustn’t trade with them.

Only our European partners started trading with them instead of us. And this should be taken into account. It looks as so: ‘Hey you – don’t be on friendly terms with them, it is me who will be on friendly terms with them”. And our foreign policy is like this.”

Is this the logic of the people – “to be against those who we are on friendly terms with”, right?

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In this logic the initiative of the government to create a transit route bypassing the Russian Federation rested on the fact that Kazakhstan doesn’t want to create this route, because it is more favorable to it to make a transit route through the Russian Federation.

“Besides this route it is possible to remember Nord Stream too, when we shouted that the US or Germany will block it. But nobody is blocking it.

Sanctions are being imposed, but it looks like this: we won’t invest money in the construction of Nord Stream. In fact, America and the EU forbid their own businesses from investing money in a profitable sphere.

We, by the way, don’t play the last role – after all, we lobbied these interests at the international level. Thus, Europe, America, and Ukraine do everything so that Russian companies and the companies affiliated with them became involved in the Ukrainian gas transit system and received profit. This is also a part of an agreement between the US and Russia.”

Concerning the latest offshore scandal, it becomes clear that not only do Russian and Ukrainian business use offshores. European business also uses offshore accounts very actively. Maybe they are forcing the EU to lose taxes, and thus the money enters offshore companies without taxes?

“The West isn’t uniform, and here lies its problem. That’s why it is difficult for it to restrain the globalism that it created. There is corporativism, which is headed by the government.

The main tendencies come from the benefits of this or that corporation. In fact, it is logical that all these corporations are interested in increasing profit, but not in increasing the budget of this or that state that protects them.”

Our politicians say that America supports us. But if we take a look, American corporations don’t really support American workers, transferring production to China. Do they really not understand that if they spit on American workers, then they will spit on Ukrainian workers even more so?

“It isn’t naivety. The people who are in power in Ukraine are very serious pragmatists. Most likely, they do it consciously and deliberately. Or their advisers understand it and speak. It is difficult to judge.

Nevertheless, the capitalist world never does nothing just like that, for the benefit of some third country, some economy, or against itself. The capitalist world does only what makes profit for it.

I think that it is necessary to give a very interesting example concerning the know-by-all company ‘Apple’. Mr Trump said that he will create all the conditions for the ‘Apple’ corporation so that it transfers its production to the territory of the US and thus creates additional jobs in the state.

The corporation reacted very negatively to his. Why? The working day of the random Chinese person is 12 hours, and these are good conditions for Apple — it costs $110.

The working hour of the random American costs $20. It is possible to calculate the damage suffered by the economy of the corporation if they return production back to the US. The problem of the US is that it is difficult for them to mobilise global capital.

All corporations that exist on the market of the US and spread their influence via influencing US foreign policy have, it is possible to say, a certain subjectivity.

It is difficult to consolidate and guide these corporations. I doubt that it can be said that some corporations will worry about life in Ukraine.

What can Ukraine give as profit for these corporations? Our economy has been destroyed, and it was destroyed because we wanted to enter into the EU, while the market is closed there.

That’s why our internal governors wanted to impetuously do it so much so that they opted to destroy the primary spheres of Ukraine’s economy.

Therefore, I don’t see how Ukraine can be attractive to the US in an economic sense. It was attractive in a political sense, but it has already lost this appeal.”

Well isn’t that interesting? Americans should learn from our deputies, who are already ready to cancel the laws of physics. During the last vote in the Rada they declared the “NewsOne” and “112” channels as agents of the Kremlin and propaganda mouthpieces of the enemy, despite the fact that these same deputies spoke on these channels. It turns out that they purposefully went on the enemy channels, but, at the same time, they aren’t agents of the Kremlin…

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“In reality, those deputies who voted to infringe on journalistic rights, as I call it, and to put pressure on the ‘NewsOne’, ‘112’, and similar resources are these same deputies who will go down in our history books as the ‘stranglers’ of freedom of speech.”

I think that the EU will be interested in learning that the parties that are allegedly oppositional voted to close down the only platforms where they can speak.

“These opposition parties… I understand who you are talking about… are being prepared for elections. Preparing for elections, they want to preserve the right-wing ideological electoral party.

In fact, this is being done in order to avoid being accused of having a pro-Kremlin position. After all, we already repeatedly heard that Mr president wants to hold elections like how Yeltsin did in 1996, i.e., to demonise his competitor in the second round of voting and thus to be the favourite.

In order for this to no happen, these parties purposefully show the Western Ukraine right-wing electorate that they are not with the Kremlin.”

After all, they don’t understand that it is Bankova Street that practically put them where they are today. All the other platforms are controlled by Bankova Street. In the pursuit of keeping their electorate, they lost it. Because tomorrow they will simply be deprived of an opportunity to speak and Poroshenko will remove them from the right-wing camp…

“I think that they will be allowed to speak. There must be at least the illusion of democracy.”

Two weeks after the TV channels are closed and nobody will hear about these parties anymore…

“There is this aspect, but I think that they also took this into account. I can’t predict anything. It is very difficult to understand what certain deputies of parliament are guided by.

I am inclined to believe that the 2019 presidential elections in Ukraine are the most interesting ones in the most recent years of independent Ukraine’s existence.

There will be no stake placed by the West, there will be stake placed by Russia. Most likely, there are two options: 1) Russia and the West place a stake on one candidate and support him/her; 2) Russia and the West in clear coordination don’t interfere with the internal process and bide their time. Whoever wins will be the one who an agreement will be made with.

Any governor who wins won’t have another option other than reaching an agreement with external global players.

After all, we have no subjectivity, we lost it. Some say that we lost it after the second cadence of Kuchma, but I will tell you that we also didn’t obtain it after the dismantlement of the Soviet Union, when corporations entered into our market in the same way they entered into the Russian market and the entire post-Soviet space. Here the question is how the development of our statehood will take place, and it indeed depends on who will win the elections.”

Do our political parties have a development plan?

“They have many plans, the question is to what extent are they real.”

Here we have the new plan of Tymoshenko – a new course. As it appears, it’s not so new, judging by the fact that the opposition votes for the elimination of freedom of speech.

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“I didn’t especially dig into the new course of Yulia. I saw a couple of videos that they launched, it doesn’t interest me. Let’s return to the topic of trends in the economic development of industrial progress of certain Kondratiev waves. It is interesting.

In 2018 we entered the 6th cycle of Kondratiev waves, the previous one was in 1980, and it was crowned by computerisation. There was a rise, then there was stable development, then there was a recession.

In 2018 the rise started over again. But not with computerisations. The 6th wave of the Kondratiev cycle is caused by new technologies. This, first of all, is nanotechnologies, then it is biotechnologies, robotics, and nuclear technologies.

Concerning nuclear technologies and robotics: how paradoxical it may sound, and many don’t want to believe it, but it is precisely Russia that cut the red ribbon of the 6th cycle of Kondratiev waves.

It declared hypersonic weapons – these are supernew technologies. And it was also quite interesting when it declared the creation of the nuclear engine.

Now the surplus of the Russian budget, which is being created by means of oil discoveries because of an increase in the oil prices, isn’t invested anywhere.

It’s partially invested in raising the prestige of territories and for developing the industrial base, and capital is being accumulated. Why is it being accumulated?

The Russian government understands that it won’t go far on just oil and gas. Especially on a new cycle. What’s interesting about the 6th cycle: whoever enters it and sets a trend earns 60 years.

These are the world, global cycles that don’t depend on the state. These are cycles of capitalist economic development.

Russia enters and sets a trend. In fact, the internal economy and industry will ‘dance’ proceeding from this position.

New production that will be engaged in the development of the already announced nuclear engines will be created. However, they didn’t show it, but they already showed hypersound.

Such republics as Ukraine and the neighbouring republics remained at the end of the 3rd or beginning of the 4th cycle of development: industrialisation and the use of electronics and natural resources.”

In Ukraine they want to return the cycle of agrarian powers.

“Concerning the cycle of agrarian powers. If to judge things in accordance with Kondratiev waves, then it is a return to the 1st cycle, when textile manufactories started to be produced.

There is no separatism in what I say. I love Ukraine, I am Ukrainian. I want it so that in Ukraine there is economic development and all the rest will proceed from this – the language issue will sort itself out in dribs and drabs and all other cultural things.

We need to work in order to become supplying republics for those countries that open the 6th cycle. This is not only Russia.

There is also China and the US. Now supertechnologies, robotics, and also nanotechnologies will be developed. And we can become an auxiliary republic for this or that component. But for this purpose we need to do everything in order to not destroy the industrial base, but to improve it.”

How can it be improved if the government herds the population towards separatism. People are leaving the country. It turns out that the authorities try to separate the state from the population.

“In Ukraine the state has long been separated from the population. The interests of the state are the diametric opposite of the interests of citizens.

For the creation of a European state there is a need to build an economy like they do in Europe. But not to copy it, because the markets are occupied. We need to develop what was given to us by nature. And they understand it.

If deputies have a purpose, then it is the creation of a good life, the implementation of election pledges, instead of involving themselves in linguistic and religious issues.

How can the religious and linguistic question influence the improvement of life in the state? It can’t. They hide behind this in order to give the illusion of activity.

Education reform is a sore subject. How is it possible that there won’t be any homework from 1st to 5th class? Movies, culture, language – they reduced everything into one heap.

Apparently, in 20 years time the average Ukrainian will be a very socialised and sensible specialist. But the Pole who graduated from school with average grades will come here and be a good director/manager.

Here is what the internal trends will lead to. And of course, this is suitable for providing an agrarian state. All trends that are happening point not to development, but to the degradation of the system. After all, the whole world moves towards new economic cycles.

One more interesting thing is the waves of revolution of prices – when money becomes cheaper and the cost of production grows, because production is limited and resources are limited. There are no new sales markets. This also needs to be considered.

Devaluation happens in accordance with global trends. The speed of devaluation correlates with the amount of durability our economy has.

In the US and Germany it isn’t strongly noticeable, there is a very powerful economy there. In the European Union there are main pillars that prop it up.

In Ukraine durability wasn’t that strong already before the revolution, and afterwards it in general fell. This is reflected in how the hryvnia devaluated since the beginning of the naughties and how after 2014 it sharply flew up because the economy was cut, and durability became less. These are very important points that need to be discussed.”

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