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Polish statesman rejects claims that Russians were repressed in Ukraine

Polish statesman rejects claims that Russians were repressed in Ukraine
Translated by: Anna Mostovych

Russia had no reason for aggression in Ukraine and statements about the repression of Russians and the Russian language in Ukraine are far-fetched.

Polish politician Radosław Sikorski, former foreign minister and current Marshal of the Sejm, discounted Russian claims of repression during discussions with Konstantin Kosachev,  the head of the Russian Federation Council Committee on International Affairs, during the Munich Security Conference, Saturday, February 7, reports Ukrinform.

“Russia’s support of separatism made the current situation even worse. You (Russia) have no plausible reason to do everything that you have done ,” Sikorski said.

He stressed that Moscow’s arguments that the rights of Russians and the Russian-speaking population are being violated in Ukraine have no basis in fact.

(Poland) had consulates in Sevastopol and Donetsk and, according to our information, there had been no violation of the rights of the Russian-speaking population in Crimea and in eastern Ukraine before the separatist activity in these regions. Not only is the Russian language not persecuted, but under (deposed) president Yanukovych, a law was passed granting Russian a privileged position, and these changes have not been cancelled,” Sikorski said.

Commenting on Kosachev’s statement that Stepan Bandera is being glorified in Ukraine, Sikorsky answered that in Russia such controversial figures as Dzerzhinsky (founder of the Soviet secret police — Ed.), Andropov  (Soviet politician who played a key role in crushing the Hungarian revolution — Ed.) and Lenin are equally glorified. According to the Polish politician, Russia’s arguments about the “fascist” government of Ukraine do not stand up to scrutiny.

“Everyone who knows Poroshenko knows he is not a fascist. He was foreign minister and then minister during the reign of Yanukovych,” he said.

Sikorsky emphasized that Russia wanted and continues to want to keep Ukraine in the zone of its own interests and for that reason it promised Ukraine cheap gas in order to incorporate it into the Customs Union.

He also suggested that the words of Russian politicians cannot be trusted. Exactly a year ago, he recalled, during the Munich Security Conference, when events on Maidan were still taking place, he asked Lavrov if Russia would take aggressive action toward Ukraine.

“Lavrov denied it then. This was before the Russian occupation of Crimea,” Sikorski said.

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
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