The ex-minister also analyzed statements in the West and Russia about Ukraine
Pavel Klimkin gave an interview to Oleg Panyuta.
Today, June 19, live on Youtube channel “Ukraine 24” in a programme “Explain Panyuta” was Minister of Foreign Affairs (2014-2019) Pavlo Klimkin, who, in particular, explained the problem of relations between the West and Ukraine, spoke about granting our country the status of a candidate for the European Union, and also about what Russian President Vladimir really understands Putin.
EU candidate country status
– This symbolic visit still gives us hope that Ukraine has received the green light towards the EU?
– The visit is definitely significant. I don’t know if historians will write about him later – they really should write about something. In my opinion, next week should be symbolic for us. It’s like a traffic light: when you see a yellow light, you stand there and think: “How much can you do?”, and you get a green one.
This does not mean that everything is calm here. I’m sure this will be the solution. And this is not only the result of the visit, because the green light will be 100%. There, of course, there will be some conditions, but these conditions are important for us – they are not put on our heads. We still need to be better.
– I have an association with a traffic light – this is the German coalition. If you take this trinity that came to us, I don’t want to offend the President of Romania … We know that Italy is a green light, France is orange (I would say so), Germany is a scarlet light until recently.
– The political decision has been made. This does not mean that the Germans or the French were the most difficult – there were also the Dutch with their own history, and the Austrians. And in fact, we will not fool anyone with the intricacies of European politics, although later we will have to.
Accession to the EU is such a story where you need to understand the nuances of European politics – and we will study it all. And, of course, we will study for the Ukrainian business – this will also be a very important story. But the light is green. So I assure everyone – 100%, don’t worry about it.
This does not mean that nothing needs to be done. In fact, the path is open, but it must be passed. It is a way of always rebooting ourselves to be cooler than those already in the European Union. You know: for those who go, the requirements are always steeper than for those who are already there. And if you look at the current European Union, it is also imperfect, but now millions of our citizens, unfortunately, are abroad. They see the pros and cons of the EU system, but they see what is the meaning of where we are going, what is the meaning of common values, common rules. And I believe that the way will be open next week.
Congratulations while we will not be anyone. We are serious people. Only after the decision will take place.
– Mr. Pavel. There are two statements by Macron – that Ukraine needs to sit down at the negotiating table and negotiate with Russiaand literally in a few days – Crimea should be Ukrainian and France fully supports Ukraine in its territorial integrity. What happened during these two days?
Nothing much happened in those two days. It’s just that we are talking about the fact that Ukraine is above all. And for us, we perceive everything that happens not only with the mind, but also with the heart. And we always want to hear in the statements even of our friends and partners what we want to hear, you will agree. And when Macron says that we won’t somehow “humiliate Putin” there, then with us it is always an insult that Macron, well, what are you talking about in the end. And then France says: “No, well, of course, we need to liberate all the occupied territories.” And we understand it.
In fact, the position has always been very consistent with the French. They say: “Yes, any war ends with negotiations – whether you like it or not.” It’s just the way the world is built – humanitarian issues, other issues will still need to be discussed.
The second is, of course, that the territorial integrity of Ukraine is a principle from which the West will never depart. And this is a strategic decision today, this is not a French decision. If the West moves away from it, then what is it worth in the 21st century?
So we started with the European Union – it was created in the 20th century. He needs to really reboot now. And here is Ukraine, which, excuse me, is in bad weather. The European Union benefits greatly from this, because it understands that the way it existed in the 20th century is no longer possible in the 21st. Likewise, the West must understand: one day it will give up its principles – just do not remember the end of the Soviet Union. Therefore, our territorial integrity, our sovereignty is something on which the West will never compromise.
The only question is how, what is the sequence, what we are doing together, how we receive not only military assistance, but also economic one, since economic stability is no less important than military one. And many more things. Such visits, when “old” Europe arrives, which was “dissolved” by the Romanian president (this is really for the best). But all the same, “old” Europe comes and says: “Yes, we understand that there is Ukraine. Yes, we finally understand that there will be no” gray “zones. And this is our strategic decision. Yes, we finally We understand that we need to defeat Putin.” What a victory over Putin will look like – the West is still talking about this, but everyone understands that Putin must be defeated.
If he does not receive it, then no one knows where he will stop – in Poland or Berlin. Look: they are all crazy there (in Russia – ed.) – they constantly say that “But the nuclear weapons are there, but we will reach the Atlantic Ocean.”
“Conversations” with Russia
– Mr. Pavel, but how to talk with the country, whose representative declares: “And will it (Ukraine – ed.) exist in two years? Who are you going to give gas to? It may not exist in two years.” How can you talk to a country that, at the so-called “International Economic Forum” in St. Petersburg, shows a map where Ukraine is divided into eight territories, allegedly having completely different subordination? How to talk to those who, in principle, do not see Ukraine?
– And they need to be convinced from a position of strength. And when we talk about negotiations – and Macron and Biden also understand this – then we need to speak with Russia from a position of strength.
As for all these statements by Medvedev, then listen: what country, such is the policy. Medvedev really wants to take Putin’s chair – well, he just jumps and dreams. He was knocked out of the prime minister there, he is sitting there somewhere as a deputy to Patrushev. Well, what is Medvedev now known for? With their posts about Ukraine. At least he is still known in Russian politics? But nothing.
Therefore, I would not react to all this trash, but would concentrate on the fact that at some point we really will need to talk with this Putin regime. It will be a very difficult conversation in which we must speak the same language with the collective West. Not separately France, not separately the United States, but separately – Ukraine. Namely, in the same language – and this is a guarantee that we speak from a position of strength.
– There are also fears among European experts that it is a strong Ukraine that is undesirable for some in Europe. And that is why there are certain hesitations whether to join it to the European community.
– My answer is let them get used to it. I have also heard from many – and in France, in Germany, in Spain, even in London I have heard it repeatedly, I will tell you frankly. This is an interesting story when they say: this is Ukraine. On the one hand, she is very cool, they are inspired by Ukrainians, this is now an example, we are well aware that there are millions of people who are ready to go to the end – at the front, as volunteers, supporting. Actually, everything. And now there are no all these speculations: “Look to the south – there is already another Ukraine, but look to the east, and maybe there is another Ukraine again.” Well, everything, you see – they closed their mouths there completely.
But at the same time they say: “Well, okay, you still have to go the way – the fight against corruption, reforms of the judiciary, law enforcement – the rule of law. I remind you that the Copenhagen criteria are actually very simple – they are sustainable democracy, the rule of law and market economy.
And I think that in fact they admit that our progress in many areas is really such that their brains tear there, but in some they still need to go this way. And it turns out such a mixture, I don’t know, explosive: on the one hand, real strength, and on the other, such a weakness. They say: “Well, what to do with them, with the Ukrainians?”. But the answer is very simple: let them get used to our uniqueness, as well as to the fact that they (Europe – ed.) will get a lot in the future both in the European Union and in NATO. And most importantly, what they will get is not even a resource, not land, but Ukrainians, these are people. And now they finally understand it. Before that, they said it as slogans, but now they understand it.
– I.e. reached them. And to be afraid that some secret agreement was brought to Kyiv, to which we must agree in order for the West to fully support us – this fear should not be?
– I am absolutely not afraid of this and I am sure that it is no longer possible to “put on” some kind of secret agreement on the head of Ukrainians. Before it was impossible, but now it is absolutely impossible. Now people understand that we can put up not just real resistance, but win against the Russian army. Yes, it is difficult, very difficult, but we can. Now people understand that these losses that we had are worth it for us to move on and not compromise. And people understand very well (and what we are trying to explain in Europe) that if we stop somewhere, then Putin will still try to destroy us after the regrouping, since this is about Ukraine. He does not want the existence of Ukrainianness, the Ukrainian nation, language, history, because if this exists, then his empire really looks bad and is doomed anyway. He understands this perfectly, and now they understand it in Europe too – they used to say: “Well, we understand this, but …”, and now they say: “We understand this.” The difference is insane.
Unfortunately, in this way, but it comes to mind – that it is simply impossible to agree with the Putin regime. And they would very much like to “reboot” Putin. Unfortunately, there are those in Europe who say: “Well, Russia exists, it is like that, and if we “beat” it now, God forbid, what are the risks, nuclear weapons …”. But with this regime, they have already once been in friendship and love … Sorry for the direct text, but for how many years they have been earning on cheap oil, gas, etc. They will no longer live in friendship and love.