Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mevedev says Russia-Ukraine probs all Yush's fault

Below is part of an interesting interview with Russian president Dmitry Medvedev from the current English language version of "Der Spiegel"

SPIEGEL:...In accordance with your instructions, there is currently no Russian ambassador in Ukraine, and you are regularly engaged in disputes with Belarus. Why do you constantly try to solve problems with your neighbors with strong-arm tactics?

Medvedev: Are there no problems between EU countries? Germany also has problems with its neighbors. We are therefore no exception.

SPIEGEL: To say that an ambassador will only be sent when another country's president has been toppled -- that's really a pretty unique stance in Europe.

Medvedev: Many things are unique in this world. All of these difficulties have been created by just one man -- the current president of Ukraine. He is guided by anti-Russian ideas, and no compromises can be achieved with him. Everything that he has done over the past four years has been aimed at disrupting bilateral relations. He has breached economic agreements, he tries to rewrite history and he has expelled a number of Russian diplomats from the country. That was an unfriendly act that requires a robust reaction. Presidential elections will soon be held in Ukraine. I sincerely hope that politicians will come to power there who are more pragmatic in their approach to Russia. Then there will be a Russian ambassador in Kiev again.

SPIEGEL: That sounds as if the conflict between Ukraine and Russia could take a dramatic turn.

Medvedev: There is no conflict between our countries. Our peoples are brothers, linked by close relations and solid economic ties. Despite the crisis, we trade goods worth billions of dollars.

SPIEGEL: But are we in for a new round of the annual natural gas war?

Medvedev: A few days ago, Ukraine informed us that it had no funds to pay for our natural gas, despite the fact that, after the conflict in January, we had agreed on the rules of the game and that, if they were in financial difficulties, they would seek loans early enough -- or we would only deliver if Ukraine paid in advance. But there is an election campaign in Kiev, where everyone is trying to politically outsmart everyone else. I wish Ukraine stability and the capacity to act. Then cooperation will be easier for Russia and the EU." man, no problem.” Joseph Stalin

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