: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Presidential Administration of Ukraine rejected the billionaire and Yalta European Strategy founder’s offer to give up Crimea and Donbas

Statement of the Ukrainian billionaire, media mogul and founder of Yalta European Strategy, Victor Pinchuk from 29 December 2016 made a great response among Ukrainians, considering the influence of Pinchuk on political and economic processes in Ukraine. Ukrainians were shocked by the absence of response from the Ukrainian government and President to separatist and pro-Russian statements of Pinchuk. Only in a week time on January 4, 2017, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine Kostiantyn Yelisieiev published an article in response in the Wall Street Journal.

Kostiantyn Yelisieiev, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine on January 4, 2017, has posted an article in the Wall Street Journal “Respect for Ukraine Vital for a Lasting Peace. Compromises on Russia’s terms are the wrong policy for peace in Ukraine” where he states that compromises with the Russian Federation will lead to more aggression from Russia and greater human suffering.

This article is the answer to Ukrainian billionaire, media mogul and founder of Yalta European Strategy, Victor Pinchuk who wrote on December 29, 2016, in his article “Ukraine Must Make Painful Compromises for Peace With Russia” in the Wall Street Journal that Ukraine should give up Crimea and medium-term hopes of European Union and NATO membership in exchange for peace in Donbas.

Kostiantyn Yelisieiev underlines that he disagrees with the compromises based on worries:

“Regarding Victor Pinchuk’s “Ukraine Must Make Painful Compromises for Peace With Russia”: I agree with his noble appeal for peace in Donbas (eastern Ukraine) but cannot agree with the appeal for compromises based on worries. Fear and weakness are bad advisers. They play into Russia’s appetites, invite even more aggression and greater human suffering.”

“That’s why Ukraine has always advocated a solution based on the national interests and the will of Ukrainians who wish their country to be independent and prosperous, and their choices free of aggressive dictate.”

“Let us be clear about red lines that no one in Ukraine would dare to cross—not now, nor in the future:
No reversal in European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine. This would be a surrender of independence, sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Ukraine. It would be like a return to the Soviet past in Ukraine—something, even Mr. Pinchuk wouldn’t welcome. Renouncing European integration would be political suicide for every politician in Ukraine who would dare call for such a dramatic reversal, especially after the Revolution of Dignity and its demand for modernization and reform.”

Kostiantyn Yelisieiev stresses that Donbas and Crimea are Ukrainian territories and they cannot be part of a trade-off for peace:

“No trade in the territory of Ukraine, be it Donbas or Crimea. These territories cannot be part of a trade-off for peace. They belong to Ukraine, and this is confirmed internationally—including by the U.N. General Assembly Resolution on Crimea last month and by the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in November. Ukraine will never abandon the Ukrainians who were trapped behind the Iron Curtain of Russia’s military invasion in Crimea and Donbas.”

Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine states that local elections in Donbas must be based on Ukraine’s law:

“No elections in Donbas with Russian boots on Ukraine’s soil. Ukraine stands for local elections there, but only based on Ukraine’s law and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe standards. The Kremlin would definitely like to legalize its hybrid occupation and puppet regimes in Donbas by Ukrainian hands. No one should fall into this trap.”

“Compromises on Russia’s terms are the wrong policy. As one of the new U.S. administration’s heavyweights once said: “history teaches that weakness arouses evil.” This has never led to sustainable peace nor saved lives. On the contrary, it has always fueled more aggression and human suffering.”

See also: Ukrainian Billionaire, media mogul and founder of Yalta European Strategy calls to give up Crimea for peace in Donbas


1 Comment

  1. Yeah pretty much. But I would separate Crimea and Donbass/Novorosiya issues.

    I am actually in favor of a roadmap for peaceful and legitimate referendum in Crimea after some cool down period of several years. Russia should definitely compensate Ukraine for all material losses associated with its illegal invasion/occupation/annexation, but Russia does have a case based on demographics. Using lethal force to rewrite borders is illegal, so a mechanism for peaceful self determination without armed intimidation needs to be established.

    As for Donbass, there is no demographic justification. All ethnic Russians added together are still under 40%, and only some fraction of these support rebellion. The ‘rebellion’ itself was instigated by Russian paramilitary units from Russia, and there are mountains if evidence indicating that the Russian chain of command has been involved both implicitly and explicitly. There needs to be an international tribunal to investigate and establish facts, and if Russia is in any way responsible for starting or escalating conflict, then it needs to come clean on all activities, stop aggression, and pay reparations or face massive sanctions until it complies. As for Novorosiya, all ethnic Russians are ~25% and again, its just a fraction of these who support rebellion. This ‘rebellion’ fought with help of active duty RF tankers from Buryatia is a tragic farce.

    Russia has committed another massive historical crime. There needs to be a full accounting and those responsible must be punished. Russia cannot be allowed to fabricate a false narrative and use it to wage war in Europe.

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