A Russian opposition activist and Economist Andrei Illarionov-about the dangers of the Minsk agreements of Putin's game on the international stage and as the Ukrainian authorities
Andrei Illarionov, a Russian expert, economic adviser to Vladimir Putin in 2000-2005, with the start of the Kremlin aggression gained reputation in Ukraine, bringing bad news and alarming forecasts. He had announced the imminent offensive by Russian troops until the tank strikes on Kiev Chernigov directions warned of Western leaders with the master of the Kremlin supports the Ukrainian leadership in facing and inability to effectively confront the aggressor. ILLARIONOV's critics accused him of spreading panic ("zrady"-network terminology, Patriots) and even provocative recommendations leading to full-scale war with Russia.
In an interview with ЛІГА.net, held after the lecture in Kiev, Illarionov described his expert analysis of recent developments in Europe and the Middle East, praised Minsk negotiation process and suggested that Ukrainians think about choice: the gradual handover of territories to return under protectorate of Russia-or fair war.
-As Turkish factor reinforced the Syrian issue will affect the future of the conflict in Donbass? Russia has enough forces on multiple fronts?
-Syria already affects the Donbass, and aggravating way. One of the objectives of participation in the Syrian conflict for Putin is the Russian regime of international poluizolâcii, in which he found himself as a result aggression against Ukraine. The second objective is the restoration of relations with Western countries, and even the translation of these relations in the State of the Alliance. As we see, that in the course of just a few last weeks and days this operation brilliantly successful against France and its New President. The French President has not only made the statements, but he came to Moscow, met with Putin and agreed on a de facto Allied relations in the Middle East.
Moreover, does anybody, namely Hollande in Moscow said that they discussed the question of Ukraine without Ukraine. They match a position about the Ukraine-and it means that in this case the French view coincided with the opinion of the aggressor. Thus, one of the tasks of the Putin regime is not the only, but very important, was in breaking the international isolation, forming new alliances and use these relationships to further isolate Ukraine.
And, most importantly, that said Hollande: the positions of France and Putin in Ukraine and Minsk execution agreements coincided. That is, in other words, this convergence of views regarding the isolation of Ukraine and not restore sovereignty over part of the territory of the country.
-Visit Hollande took place after a series of terrorist attacks in Paris. As they changed the political mood in Europe and do you concede that the attacks can be initiated by the Kremlin?
Terror-one of the most effective instruments of internal and external policies. Various terrorist acts, regardless of who carried them out, always been used effectively to achieve specific political results. Recent events are no exception-a series of attacks carried out in Egypt and Paris, have contributed to the fact that Putin managed to break through the diplomatic and political isolation in the West, and evolve from a pariah to respected member of the Allied Coalition.
-So in distinguished Member?
-To his bow came French President and began to speak: "I came to personally thank you, Vladimir." A few weeks ago to imagine this was virtually impossible. By the way, Hollande, if you remember, participated actively in the preparation of the Minsk accords. And advised that the terrorists should sit at the negotiating table, it is necessary to take into account their views, it is necessary to give them the opportunity to actively participate in all processes should be at their request to change the Constitution of Ukraine and so on.
-What is the role of the Turkish crisis of relations with Russia in this puzzle?
-Turkish crisis in this case fulfils the role of improving the overall tension in the world at large and in the Middle East in particular. There is nothing more effective for impact on the level of oil prices than increase tensions in the Middle East. But strategically it is exactly what you need the Russian regime. Oil prices, by the way, already increased by at least $ 3 per barrel. This reaction directly to those aircraft and the relevant statements of Moscow and Ankara. I don't say that incident with the downed plane was rendered in the Kremlin, but could use its effects is not without benefits for themselves.
-Whether there is a contradiction here? On the one hand, the desire of Putin to establish relations with the countries of the West, on the other hand, immediately the threat of military conflict with Turkey, one of the most powerful military alliance members?
-No, this in no way contradicts. As we can see, in this situation, Ankara is not supported, and the allies quickly distanced themselves from the position of Erdogan. Moreover, the main pressure on Turkey now exercise just NATO countries-in order to appease Putin and not to bring Russian-Turkish relations to open military conflict.
-NATO is no longer living as a subject and strength? What does it mean?
-This tells us more about the current leadership of Western countries, the most gentle determination for him-"plasticine".
-There is an opinion that Erdogan and Putin policy style is similar-both have a penchant for authoritarianism, both managed by ethnically disparate States, and second, unlike Westerners, easily send your soldiers to death. Erdogan called mirror image of Putin. How can it tell the prospect of conflict between the two countries and the situation in Europe as a whole?
-Who sent Erdogan to death? How can you compare? Putin-Yes, sends people to death, we see it. Attempts to present the same Erdogan just benefit those who justify the Kremlin's policy against Turkey. Even if we compare the political regimes in Russia and Turkey, we see that Turkey, though not completely, but still a democratic country. Don't compare even with Russia, which completely totalitarian. What external military operations commits Erdogan? Russia annexed the same piece of land-Crimea, Turkey nothing annexed when Erdogan. Erdogan and Putin compared incorrectly.
-Before, after the annexation of Crimea, you said that "Europe betrayed Ukraine." You can repeat this now? You even used the phrase "Munich conspiracy". Or Ukrainian diplomacy managed to correct the situation to your advantage?
-I didn't say "conspiracy", and said that it is "mûnhinit"-a disease of Western leaders that resembles the aggressor's policy of appeasement, which was at the end of the 30-ies in relation to Hitler. In this regard, nothing has changed.
-At the same time, Russian companies and individuals were not lifted, there is reason to talk about their tightening. But you're in one of the interview call anti-Russian sanctions "toys". Quote: "the Americans tighten their noose on the neck of Russia will not be able to, because it is not yet made, but the so-called sanctions United States allegedly entered is kindergarten toys". That may be the most "rope" and when its economics to United States? Time frame?
-A counter question: can a plasticine weave rope? The current leaders of Western countries, and, above all, the United States, is not in a position to make a truly drastic actions against Russia. And sanctions are sophomoric, Yes. They have not had an impact on the regime in Moscow, as we can see. Live the Russians got worse, but would become weaker the Putin regime?
-Give your assessment of the Minsk agreements and their marketability.
-This agreement to prevent the restoration of the sovereignty of Ukraine on the part of its territory, namely in the Crimea and Eastern Donbass. Moreover, the Elimination of the sovereignty of the Kiev authorities, because the Minsk agreements require change Constitution in accordance with the wishes of the eastern neighbour.
-But you know that the President of the Minsk agreement calls Poroshenko is hardly the biggest success of the Ukrainian diplomacy. If you say that this is not the case, then Poroshenko, leaves or cannot be dismantled, either knowingly misrepresents the situation?
-See: there is a powerful block of international law. It consists of the UN Charter, the 1975 Helsinki accords year Budapest memorandum 1993 onwards, a series of bilateral agreements between Ukraine and Russia, the CIS agreement on forming Large Treaty of friendship. In all of these documents clearly established internationally recognized the inviolability of the State border between Russia and Ukraine. This cornerstone.
Minsk agreement is preventing the restoration of the sovereignty of Ukraine on the part of its territory. Moreover, the Elimination of the sovereignty of the Kiev authorities, because the Minsk agreements require change Constitution in accordance with the wishes of the eastern neighbour.
Minsk agreement in this sense contrary to everything, including the UN Charter, in contravention of all norms of contemporary international law.
Moreover, the Minsk agreement you do not have such status in international law, as all of the above Treaty. In this case, the Ukrainian leadership deliberately chose a document that neither the status nor the more content is not relevant to the norms of international law and had not focused on it. Naturally, that Putin fully supported these agreements and, if you look its performances, he regularly expounded on the need for their implementation.
-Soon turns two years the new Ukrainian authorities. You can share your impressions about its effectiveness?
-I, as a citizen of another country will not give estimates, but I will say the most important thing. What power during this time went to the Minsk agreement has already resulted in preventing the restoration of the sovereignty of Ukraine on part of its territory, and in the future is aimed at the destruction of the sovereignty of Ukraine even on the remaining territory.
-How marked impact on the Russian Federation (the image of power, mood in the society, economy, etc.) power outage in Crimea? How do you measure such a step by Ukraine?
-It's all Slightly affected. You have heard-it was only a couple of statements, does not change the situation. Crimeans suffer, but Putin did not think about it at all-would somehow come electricity there and okay. I am surprised why the Ukrainians did so just now, not a year and a half ago.
-If no effect, then why do it even now at least a year and a half ago?
-I said that Putin is not affected, but crimeans influences very strongly. Many have come to believe that they live with Ukraine was more comfortable.
-Whether the risk of a full-scale invasion by forces of the Russian Federation to Ukraine?
-Full-unlikely, and the continuation of aggression-certainly yes. A full-scale invasion is impossible, because the physical strength to do so, Russia does not have. And it's not that the Kremlin would have torn on two fronts-Ukrainian and Syriac. Just no power. Now. The current Russian army to conquer Ukraine impossible.
In March last year you said that Putin's goal of Kiev and all Ukraine. Goes, the objectives changed?
-No, the goal remains. In addition to the open war is still full of methods to achieve it. In particular, in addition to the green men have greenbacks.
-What is a green paper?
-No, as with their help Putin may try to reach their goal in Ukraine.
-There are a lot of decision-makers in Ukraine, working with whom the Kremlin does not cease-collaborating with someone, someone is still trying to seduce, but, nevertheless, the work is done. Understand that the purpose of the "Kiev and whole Ukraine" is not installing the Russian flags in Kyiv and the announcement of your country the territory of the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, but only control of the Ukrainian State and political elite through its people in Kiev offices. Objective-preventing the integration of Ukraine into European and Euro-Atlantic structures. Again: the Minsk agreement is one of the most effective tools for achieving the goals of Putin, as there are signatures of senior Ukrainian officials. And Putin's side immediately serve people like Merkel, hollande, Obama-they too require compliance with and enforcement of the Minsk accords.
-What is the forecast for Donbass you can do in the near future?
Putin's operation to establish control over Ukraine, in his hands all the trumps. Moreover, with the Ukrainian side to him agreeing to actively help implement the Minsk agreement. Because I do not wish to give a forecast on Donets Basin: for all its importance, the fate of Donbass interests me much less than the future of the whole of Ukraine as a whole.
-You all criticize time Minsk agreement, but President Poroshenko insists that they succeeded in reducing the intensity of the fighting-no longer perish in such amount, as before, were found a truce. It is also important.
-War is an unspeakable thing. But in the midst of war have an idea about who the enemy is, and who is an ally. In the same conditions referred to "truce", which is actually a truce is not, because almost every day still die people, washed away the notion of "friend" and "foe". In war you cannot do pardon the terrorists, but in "Minsk world"-please. In war, you cannot change the Constitution on demand the aggressor and in "Minsk world"-as long as you want.
-You call for Ukraine to open war with Russia?
-And you prefer to gradually lose part of the territories by "Minsk world"? RUSSIA have no strength to open war against Ukraine, and besides we need at least to respond to aggression to allow its army to destroy Nazi collaborators, and not hide behind lengthy phrases "only in the case of a direct threat, you can open fire." Erdogan is not afraid to shoot down Russian aircraft is an example.
-For Erdogan, NATO and Ukraine.
Is excuses. Do you really think that someone will fight for Ukraine, in addition to herself? Europeans for Ukraine has never done anything, do not and will not do.
-The Ukrainian authorities argue that in Europe there is a antiputinskaâ coalition.
-And who is included? Hollande, who recently returned from Moscow? Or Merkel, who has made you when switching off the electricity in the Crimea?
Return to Erdogan, his deed with downed RUSSIAN AIR FORCE aircraft shows that in Turkey there are elite, there are the interests of the State and the willingness to defend them. By the way, after the incident with the RUSSIAN AIR FORCE aircraft downed ex-. the President of Ukraine, now your chapter made approval of the State Security actions of Turkey and said, well, here's how you should behave civilized countries in terms of violations of their airspace. All right, but only he, apparently, gave his own assessment guide-when his power military units in Crimea opposed seizures by Russia.
Here's to you and evidence of the absence in Ukraine of a National Patriotic elite: one President expands business in the country-aggressor, and a second former, does not give the order to open fire against the invaders.
-Is it possible reconciliation between our once close people and how much do you think this will take?
-I would have reformulated your question and would ask not how long, and what events need to occur for this. If the event does not occur, then the centuries can change nothing. If necessary, the events occur, you can reconcile comparatively beyond the short term. Let's say, for one generation.
-What is the event?
-At least restore the internationally recognized border between Ukraine and Russia. Be sure to return all territory of Donbass and Crimea Ukraine and Russia's recognition of the facts of aggression followed by the refusal of the RUSSIAN FEDERATION from conducting an aggressive policy towards Ukraine and other neighbors.
-In practice, it is almost impossible to achieve.
-Very hard, Yes. Moreover, I will say that this can happen only when the real military defeat of Russia.
-Is there a political opposition in Russia?
-Exists, but very weak and disorganized.
-Who are its leaders: Navalny, Khodorkovsky, Kasyanov, Yashin?
-I would not called Bulk counter-example. Little did, as he calls himself. Zyuganov, Zhirinovsky and Mironov also call themselves opposition, but what does it change? I would put the Bulk in one number with these "oppositionists".
-Why? And, by the way, Khodorkovsky also there?
-Khodorkovsky a bit differently, but when he speaks on matters of principle, it turns out that his views coincide with those of Putin. In modern Russian politics the last two years, there is a simple test for the opposition: Crimea our/our? These people are checked. Bulk and Khodorkovsky did not consider Crimea Ukrainian territory and that is all you need to know about their opposition.
-For you to Crimea whose?
-It's undeniable the territory of Ukraine.
-If not Khodorkovsky and the opposition, who are they?
-I don't know, I never concerned their identification. All I can say: great totalitarian political system there is always a lot of roles and functions to be performed by some people. Bulk and Khodorkovsky play a role. But in the system, not against it. System need different people: someone executes orders for money, someone on the personal initiative. Lenin said that there are idiots, and there are useful idiots.
-And who then opposition in Russia?
-There is no single structure, it cannot be under the totalitarian regime, which now ruled by Russia. All organized opposition forces in totalitarian regimes are destroyed.
But there are a lot of people who are in real opposition. If by name, Arkady Babchenko it, Eider Muždabaev, Boris Vishnevsky, Andrei Piontkovsky, Lilia Shevtsova, Garry Kasparov. I also attribute to the opposition. In General opposed to the configured before 15% of Russia's population.
-If there is no organization, it is impossible and alternative to Putin, not even in the foreseeable future, but also in the longer term? Maybe the alternative is being prepared in the Putin's environment?
-It is as if we met in 1944, and discussed: who is the alternative to Hitler-Himmler or Bormann? Because Himmler and Bormann's, too, as the different clans of Putin's Entourage, not all issues positions coincide. It makes no sense today to talk about alternative to Putin in Russia-change of power democratically is still not going to happen, and to predict emergency scenario impossible.
-And yet how wealthy conversations that surrounded Putin deepens the conflict as between different factions (policemen, administration, heads of regions), and general dissatisfaction with the overall course? And played an important role, by the way, the sanctions?
-The existing sanctions are kindergarten, I have already referred. Next, Yes, not all issues from Putin's Entourage has a consensus. So it is always by definition. Are there inside this environment crises? Of course, there are. Can these crises and disagreements lead to the collapse of Putin's system? In my opinion, no. The fact is that the number of crimes committed by the regime, is that for each of his cellmate or supporters logoff or elimination of the system will lead to their own destruction. If not physically, legally accurate.
-If we talk not about elite and ordinary Russians, whether in society understanding that attacks that took the lives of Russians, in particular, on board the Airbus A321 over Egypt-a direct result of Putin's policies?
-Part of the society have this understanding. The majority has no idea of what was going on. Zombirovano society and hurt mentally. And mental illness the most scary, because they disable the consciousness and people cease to adequately analyze the surrounding reality.
-The root cause of your tv?
-No, tv is just one of the tools. There are a lot of factors. Germans in 1930- -1940-ies were also poisoned, and there was no tv. The population of the USSR was poisoned 70 years, including a long period of time when there was no tv. These severe mental illness-a feature of totalitarian societies. We have not yet North Korea, but very confident move. Most people are not able to rationally evaluate the world around us. This severe mental illness is not cured within a short period of time.
-Can we say that there is a predisposition of some Nations to such disorders?
-No. For example, the same Germany in the first third of the 20th century, was among some of the richest, developed and educated countries in Western Europe. Nevertheless, infect their totalitarian ideology turned out very easily and in a very short period of time. Russia still 25 years ago had nothing to do with today's Putin's State. It was a healthy society, the same as you, now in Ukraine.
You have a healthy society. Yes, there are problems, there is a strange personality, there is a sick, sick state elite, which is worse than in Russia, and a weak economy. But society is healthy, and this is the most important thing.
-What do you have in mind when they said that the elite in Ukraine worse Russian?
-The Russian elite exists, and Ukrainian-No. Yes, in Russia a very specific, aggressive, hamskaâ Imperial elites with atrofirovannym view on the right, but it's there. In Ukraine, in my opinion there is no elite, which associated itself with the existence of Ukraine as a nation State. If the President has a business on the territory of the aggressor and not get rid of him, despite all the promises-it is a clear indication that the elite No.
-You mentioned the weakness of Ukrainian economy. Can you name three (five, two, seven, any) problem positions for two years, the new authorities in Ukraine have not been corrected or improved in the economy?
In March the year 2014 at an emergency economic summit in Ukraine I told everyone about it, and Kakha Bendukidze then said the same thing-for a year nothing has improved. No problem, that were in Ukraine a year and a half ago, not simply has not been solved, and even, in fact, had not been affected by the power. But Ukraine's GDP in 2014, the year fell by 7% and in 2015-m-at 11%. Shaped drop for two years-20%. Then there are the Ukrainian economy over two years is 20 percent weaker. Dollar winter 2014-go cost UAH 8 now-23-24. External debt of Ukraine in 2014-m was approximately 40% of GDP, 94% this year. Tax burdens were, remained.
-You are familiar with someone from the Ukrainian Government? Give advice?
-Last spring was meeting with your Prime Minister Yatsenyuk. He as much as 20 minutes talking with me and us, Bendukidze Kahoj listened to how many managed to say.
What impress you fired the Prime Minister, what can you say about his professional qualifications?
-It does not matter what impression on alien fired Prime Minister of your country. The main thing is that he made a good impression on the Ukrainians. Better yet, that he did not make an impression and did something for Ukrainians. What he did to Ukraine for considerable time, during which is headed by the Government? About bad I said, and you can tell about a good? Analyze and make a list of pros and cons: Premiership Yatsenyuk. I think this will not be the list, which he liked.
Two years ago, the per capita GDP in Ukraine was, in my opinion, 85 per cent of the year 1989, and now 71%. There is no country in the post-Soviet area, which from that time not just remained at 89 and still and went. You will need a minimum of 25-26 years to reach the level of the year 1989, and even then, if the economy will grow at the rate of 8%-but no sign of such a pace yet.