Former Ukrainian president slams Kiev for abandoning cordial relations with Russia – world



MOSCOW, August 17. / TASS /. The abandonment of good neighborly relations with Russia has been the biggest mistake Ukraine has made in the past 30 years, said former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in a speech to his fellow citizens dedicated to the 30th anniversary of Ukrainian independence, which is available to TASS.

“The first Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk said not too long ago that he thought his biggest mistake was to trust Russia. I am surprised to hear something like that from one of the ancestors of the independence of Ukraine, “Yanukovych said. “I am deeply convinced that the biggest mistake of our 30 years of independence was not that Russia betrayed our trust, but that we abandoned good neighborly relations with Russia,” stressed the former Ukrainian president.

Viktor Yanukovych also said that he believed that the policy he pursued as head of state was neither wrong nor too soft and that the political crisis and the coup of 2014 that followed were the Ukraine project results as anti-Russian.

“We were aware of this threat and were doing everything we could to prevent a disaster. We guaranteed freedom of speech even when that “freedom” infringed upon the foundations of the state. We have not impeded the right of people in western regions to erect monuments. to those whom they considered to be their national heroes, even at the cost of an insult to the historical memory of their fellow citizens in the south-east. We did not persecute members of nationalist organizations, hoping that they would appreciate the state’s tolerance. close my eyes to a lot of things. I don’t think it was bad policy. The coup that took place in 2014 was not the result of our “softness”. we agree that this assumption is a reality, so everything will fall into place. ”

He added that as head of state he also could not avoid some mistakes, but during his presidency the standard of living of Ukrainians was much higher. “It’s true, under our government mistakes were made, sometimes quite serious. But at the same time, Ukraine lived peacefully. It was a country with the largest territory in Europe. Its citizens were not leaving. en masse abroad in search of a better life. and its population was not shrinking at a catastrophic rate. Ukrainians were free to use their mother tongue without fear of being accused of violating legislation limiting their constitutional rights . They did not lead a sordid life because of the exorbitant utility bills. People lived better under our government is a difficult fact. And this fact will seem even more eloquent, if you take into account the current impoverishment of Ukrainians Yanukovych said.

He sees one of the reasons for the weakening of economic ties between Ukraine and Russia in “the westernization of Kiev’s foreign policy”, which has occurred under pressure from part of Ukrainian society. Multivector foreign policy was a compromise between this tendency and the desire to maintain full cooperation with the Russian Federation. <...> There was simply no other way to ensure the national security of our country at that time, and, as the following years showed, it was the multivector approach that maintained internal stability. This situation lasted until 2014, “he said.

Yanukovych ruled Ukraine from 2010 to 2014, when he was ousted in a coup. On November 21, 2013, the Ukrainian government suspended the process of signing an agreement with the European Union. In response, the Verkhovna Rada opposition blocked the work of parliament and a protracted rally began in Independence Square. During the three-month clash, dubbed “Euromaidan”, aggressive nationalists seized several administrative buildings in central Kiev, set up a tent camp and set up armed “self-defense units” are openly confronted with the police and order. Later, Yanukovych and almost all members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Nikolai Azarov left Ukraine. After the change of power, the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office opened criminal proceedings against Yanukovych for the mass murder of civilians. The former president says it is political persecution.


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