Article by: Pavlo Kazarin
From time to time we hear opinions and statements proclaiming that good neighbourly relations between Ukraine and Russia are possible. To do this, we just need to forget the last three years and envelop our northern neighbor in an ecstatic embrace. In order to resurrect “fraternal” relations, the “junta” currently in power must be replaced with persons willing to be friends with Russia… and definitely not with leaders or politicians similar to those that have been governing Ukraine since February 2014.
At this point, I’d like to tell such people to watch Russian television and how it continues to analyze and judge Ukraine and broadcast and give voice to former Party of Regions members. It was namely these Ukrainian politicians that signed the Kharkiv agreement and extended the term of deployment for the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, the same ones that destroyed the Ukrainian army and approved the infamous “language” laws. And yet, this doesn’t stop Vladimir Solovyov [popular Russian TV and radio journalist known for his pro-Kremlin views-Ed] from calling these people, i.e. members of the ex-Party of Regions, “vile and worthless traitors of their homeland”.
His words are addressed to Mykola Levchenko, Olena Bondarenko and Volodymyr Oliynyk, Ukrainian politicians that have a long-standing reputation for Ukrainophobia. Logically speaking, if these pro-Kremlin Ukrainians can’t count on sympathy from Moscow, then who can?
Indeed, this story is indicative of Russia’s opinion of Ukraine. From Moscow’s point of view, any – even the most pro-Russian Ukrainian politician – won’t fit the bill. They will continue to be mocked, admonished and humiliated on live TV programs all over the country… because, despite the fact that they are pro-Russian, they are still Ukrainian. There’s no compromise model that Russian-Ukrainian relations could be built on, like in Canada and the United States. Moscow still sees Ukraine as a rebellious colony. And, as we know, only governor-generals, named by the central power, i.e. Moscow, are suitable for colonies.
We can do anything we want – declare Russian the second official language, recognize the Russian tricolour in Crimea, grant autonomous status to the Donbas, or pardon all the militants and separatists. We can refuse membership in NATO and join the CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization – intergovernmental military alliance signed on May 15, 1992 between six post-Soviet states-Ed). We can break the Association Agreement with the EU, join the Customs Union and disband our army. However, this won’t be enough for Russia. Moreover, anyone who’s part of the plan to destroy Ukraine in favour of the Kremlin may be summoned at some point to speak on Moscow television and be publicly rapped on the knuckles before the entire country.
That’s the special thing about Russia: it’s absolutely impossible to find a compromise point between Kyiv and Moscow. The Kremlin can negotiate on equal terms with Washington, Paris and Berlin. It can talk on equal terms with Warsaw, Budapest or Bucharest. But, it will always talk down to Kyiv. Not one Ukrainian politician can offer the Kremlin a mutually beneficial format for peace and understanding… because Moscow wants and needs everything in Ukraine. People who are ready to offer only three-quarters of a deal will sooner or later be called “small and insignificant traitors”.
Well then, let’s just dig in and get back to being a “junta”!