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