Bigshots Bully Ukraine to Desert Macedonia

From 'Russian Observer,' July 31, 2001

Ukraine expects nothing from Solana

"Putting pressure on Ukraine to force it to stop delivering arms to Macedonia is absolutely impermissible. This is nothing but an imperialist American policy, a policy practiced by people that are accustomed to being obeyed everywhere and all the time." Such an opinion has been expressed by the head of the commission for developing a civic society under the Ukrainian president and director of the Ukrainian branch of the International Institute of Humanitarian-Political Studies, Vladimir Malenkovich.

Following is a brief interview with Vladimir Malenkovich.

Q: How would you comment on Javier Solana's visit to Ukraine? Will the West demand that Ukraine stop arms deliveries to Macedonia? And what is Ukraine's stand on this question?

A: I would say this is a manifestation of the policy of globalization. If Ukraine stops arms deliveries to Macedonia, on the one hand, this would be a violation of those commitments that Ukraine took upon itself in 1999.

On the other hand, this would be an attempt to kindle a new seat of tension in the Balkans. This, of course, is an attempt undertaken by the Americans.

That is why in the given situation, as I see it, the definite possibility of supporting the lawfully elected government of Macedonia, that so far has been displaying maximum moderateness, is today displaying super-moderateness in the struggle against terrorism.

Q: Can the visits of Condoleezza Rice and Javier Solana be seen as an attempt to put the squeeze on Ukraine in order to force it to change its foreign policy?

A: Certainly they can. That's exactly the way I see it. The way Madame Rice behaved in respect to a sovereign state was simply impermissible. Not only she but the American ambassador as well is trying to teach us how to live.

Q: Do you imply that parity in relations is out of the question here?

A: In general, I would say these relations are not very well thought out. As I see it, relations between Ukraine and the United States simply do not exist. What we see from time to time is that American functionaries come to Ukraine demanding that it does this or does that in the interests of America, not in the interests of the world. Moreover, these interests quite often give rise to conflicting situations.

Nobody offers any serious resistance to the Americans anywhere, and what we are seeing is totally irrelevant to relations between two sovereign states. I think Rice is behaving worse than Albright - she is demonstrating a totally dictatorial style and her rhetoric is dominated by threats: unless you behave properly you will get nothing but if you do, you will. And to that those endless speculations on freedom of speech, human rights and the like although everybody realizes that all that is just a well-conceived PR exercise to score points.

Q. Under what circumstances could Ukraine express views differing from those of the United States?

A. Ukraine could express its own views on condition that Russia expresses its own views. Regrettably, Russia is still weak and its potential has plummeted although it is still as ambitious as it used to be. I don't think that even Russia has a clear-cut policy. Therefore, there is nobody Ukraine could lean on, so to speak. The country is not self-sufficient.

Q. What does Ukraine expect from the Solana visit?

A. Nothing. The situation will be very much as it was during the Rice visit. Solana will ask for a ban on arms supplies. So far the West has failed to persuade Ukraine to stop them, and I am sure Solana will try to convince the Ukrainians that they will be able to keep the peace in the Balkans, notably in Macedonia, without Ukrainian weapons. And I am afraid he will point to an agreement with the leader of Macedonia but the Macedonian leader is too weak to pursue independent policies.