Russian Presidential advisor Academician Sergei Glazyev reported that the U.S. is funding and training the armed opposition in Ukraine, and that a 1994 Russian-U.S. agreement gives Russia the legal basis to take action in the situation, if necessary. Glazyev made the statements in an extensive interview with the Ukrainian edition of the Russian paper Kommersant, published Thursday.
Glazyev’s remark about the 1994 treaty is being hugely misreported in the British and American press as a Russian threat. In fact, what Glazyev said in reply to a question about possible “active intervention” by Russia, is that Russia and the USA are obligated to take action in situations like the present one:
“We should recall the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, adopted in connection with Ukraine’s adherence to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. All parties to it undertook to protect the territorial integrity and security of Ukraine. Under this document, Russia and the USA are guarantors of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and, frankly speaking, are obligated to intervene when this kind of conflict arises. But what the Americans are up to now, unilaterally and crudely interfering in Ukraine’s internal affairs, is a clear breach of that treaty. The agreement is for collective guarantees and collective action.”
This statement came after Glazyev had laid out the enormous dimensions of unilateral U.S. interference in Ukraine: “According to our information, American sources are spending $20 million a week on financing the opposition and the insurgents, including on weapons. It has been reported that the guerrillas are briefed on the grounds of the U.S. embassy, that they are being armed. Of course this is unacceptable, and it needs to be investigated.” Glazyev said that U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Pyatt’s published interview about his “100 percent certainty” that Ukraine would ultimately sign its Association Agreement with the EU was suspicious, in that “here you have an Ambassador, who declares with certainty that Ukraine will sign the agreement, as if he, rather than the Ukrainian leadership, were to decide this question. But the Ukrainian leadership decided not to sign this unnatural agreement, because that document is a pathway to catastrophe.”
Glazyev called the opposition movement “an attempt at a coup d’etat, at the violent overthrow of the government” in which public buildings have been occupied and an attempt has been made to storm the President’s offices. “This comes under the definition of a coup according to Ukrainian law and international law,” he said. “Everybody is afraid, for some reason, to call things by their names. The West calls terrorists and putschists ‘activists’ and tries to portray them as peaceful demonstrators…. The authorities, in turn, are not fulfilling their duty to defend the state, negotiating with putschists as if they were law-abiding citizens.”
Asked if Yanukovych should now use force to clear the protesters, Glazyev said: “As for starting to use force, in a situation where the authorities face an attempted coup d’etat, they simply have no other course of action. Otherwise, the country will be plunged into chaos.” He said Yanukovych had done all he could to avoid violence, in contrast to the opposition, and accused leaders in western Ukraine of being “separatists.”
In reply to a question about what steps might now avert catastrophe, Glazyev said that the fact of a coup attempt by “professionally trained, armed storm troopers” must be acknowledged. “Secondly,” he continued, “the West should stop its blackmail and intimidation, such as [U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland] has been engaged in, during her meetings in Kiev with the oligarchs, as well as with representatives of the President and the government. Our information is that, at these meetings, she let people know that they would land on blacklists, if President Victor Yanukovych did not hand the governance of the country over to the opposition. This is blackmail, which has nothing in common with international law. This is not merely interference in domestic affairs. This is an attempt to control Ukraine.”
Thirdly, Glazyev urged, “The West should accept Moscow’s proposal to establish a trilateral system of consultations among the EU, Russia and Ukraine, concerning Kiev’s foreign trade and economic cooperation in the future.” He advised that the vehement statements against this by Polish Foreign Ministry Radoslaw Sikorski and others are not the only opinions within the EU countries.
Glazyev said that Russia is concerned that Ukraine should not split apart, but said that some form of federalism could be introduced to give significant powers to the main regions of the country, including over budgets and, to some limited extent, international relations. He cited the example of Greenland, which enjoys substantial autonomy from Denmark and is not part of the EU, unlike Denmark itself. Western and eastern Ukraine could have different economic relations with the EU and Russia, Glazyev said. “Today, economic, cultural and human ties between the regions of eastern and western Ukraine are less than the links between southeastern Ukraine and Russia and between the western regions and the EU,” he said, and suggested that the eastern regions might want to join the customs union of Russia and other Eurasian nations.