Tag Archives: Churkin

US responsible for Ukrainian crisis after investing $5 billion in regime change – Russia’s envoy to UN

Armed men wearing military fatigues gather by Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) as they stand guard outside the regional state building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 16, 2014

The US is to blame for the events in Ukraine as it invested $5 billion in regime change in the country, taking a more radical stance that its EU allies, Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s envoy to the UN, said.

“It seems it was the Americans, who tried to push through the most radical scenario,” Churkin said in an interview with Rossiya 24 channel. “They didn’t want any sort of compromise between [ousted president Viktor] Yanukovych and the opposition. And, I think, they came to the conclusion that it was time to cash in those $5 billion and handle the matter towards abrupt regime change, which, eventually, happened.”

This explains why the US, but not the European Union took centre stage when the coup resulted in legal vacuum in Kiev, he added.

US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, told CNN on Monday that Washington has invested around $5 billion into supporting democracy in Ukraine since the fall of Soviet Union.

But Churkin has doubts about Nuland’s claims, saying that “any sane person would, at least, say that those investments didn’t pay off.”

“If those $5 billion were spent on support of democracy, but not overthrow of the existing government and regime change, then no democracy has triumphed there [in Ukraine],” he explained.

‘Washington’s money, radical approach led to a completely unexpected result’

The Maidan standoff was “a head-on attack” by the US and its Western allies aimed at distancing Russia and Ukraine from each other, Russia’s envoy to the UN said.

However, it failed and “led to a completely unexpected result for them when Crimea was reunited with Russia,” he stressed.

“One has to be naïve to suggest that it all happened fast,” Churkin said of the deal on the de-escalation of the Ukraine crisis, which Kiev agreed with Russia, the US and EU on April 17.

But at the same time, he stressed that consultations between Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, and his American counterpart John Kerry “weren’t in vain” as the agreement “provided good basis for further growth.”

“Despite all their recurrent adventurism, they [the US] realize that peace is rather fragile and too many crises, too much unrest has been created in different parts of the world. I don’t think they’re interested in the emergence of a new serious crisis, with non-obvious consequences for them,” the envoy said.

Russia’s Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin

According to Churkin, one of those steps should be the confiscation of 3 million items of weapons, which are currently illegally held by the “radical nationalists” in Ukraine.

Kiev calls for the disarmament of federalization supporters in eastern Ukraine, but “how will the radicals [from Western Ukraine] lay down their arms as they are sometimes declared the National Guard and thus obtain official status?” he wondered.

The envoy has ruled out the possibility of a UN peacekeeping operation in Ukraine, calling it “unrealistic.”

“Ukraine is a very big country and from political point of view there’s no frontline there. And, thank god, it can’t be drawn,” he said.

The presence of observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) “is just enough to monitor what’s happening there,” Churkin stressed.

The envoy also said the EU has begun realizing there’s “a considerable danger” in the rise of far-right forces in Ukraine.

“It’s not a secret that Europe has radicals of its own. Giving such a boost to the nationalist radicalism in Europe… I think that serious politicians understand this,” he said.

But those concerns are only shared during personal contacts, but “nobody talks openly about it,” he added.

US Vice President Joe Biden (R) and Ukraine’s acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk leave after a joint press conference in Kiev on April 22, 2014

Ukraine has been in turmoil since democratically elected president Yanukovich was removed from power via a coup powered by far-right radicals.

The society is split into two parts as the majority of the Russian speaking population refuses to accept the new authority in Kiev.

In March, the Republic of Crimea held a referendum to part ways with Ukraine and re-join Russia.

The move inspired a push for independence in other regions of Ukraine, with activists seizing government buildings in Donetsk and other south-eastern regions.

Despite Kiev’s military operation against the protesters turning into a flop, the situation remains tense in Ukraine, with armed radicals arriving in the country’s east to cause provocations.

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Kiev must stop war on Ukrainians – Churkin

The international community must demand that those who are in power in Kiev stop war on their own citizens in south-eastern Ukraine, Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin told the UN Security Council.

“The international community must demand the stooges of Maidan stop the war against their own people”, Churkin said at an emergency Security Council session.

Churkin stressed that “reckless actions” of the Kiev government are “threatening to rip apart the delicate garment of Ukrainian mosaic society.”

Kiev’s post-coup authorities “stubbornly,” Churkin says, refuse to listen to those who do not accept Kiev’s “radicalized, chauvinistic, russophobic, anti-Semitic forces.”

“Some, including those in this hall, constantly look for Moscow’s hand in the events in the southeast , persistently without wishing to see the true reasons of the events in Ukraine. Quit doing it,” Churkin told the meeting.

“Quit spreading tales that we built up military armadas on the border with this country, ready at any moment, within a few hours to reach almost as far as La Manche, that we sent hordes of agents to coordinate actions of the protesting people of Ukraine.”

Monstrous russophobia bordering on hatred became the norm in the Verhovna Rada, Churkin reminded. “These beings deserve only one thing – death,” Churkin quoted a recent female Svoboda party MP’s statement about protesters in the East. And such views are widely shared among her “brutal co-party members,” he added.

The people’s outcry in the East was indeed answered by Ukraine Parliament – with “draconian laws” threatening them long term imprisonment for “separatism” and “terrorism,” Churkin said.

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power used a chance to accuse Russia of directly intervening and orchestrating the protests in Ukraine.

“You heard that there are no Russian troops in eastern Ukraine but the fact is that many of the armed units that we have seen were outfitted in bullet proof vests, camouflage uniforms with insignia removed,” Power said.

Armed pro-Russia protesters prepare for the battle with Ukrainian police special team on the outskirts the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 13, 2014

“We know who is behind this. Indeed the only entity in the area capable of coordinating these professional military actions is Russia,” Power claimed.

In his turn, Ukraine’s Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev said that “Russia has not only constantly been increasing its troops alongside the Ukrainian border but also sending subversive groups into Ukrainian regions in order to destabilize the situation,” accusing Russia of orchestrating a full-scale “terrorist operation” in the East.

Russia’s Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin speaks at the United Nations Security Council during a meeting called by Russia April 13, 2014 at the United Nations in New York

Taking the floor for the second time, Churkin warned that the deadline was looming, and that prospects of holding negotiations next week would be undermined if Kiev uses force against its people in the East, Churkin said in his rebuttal to the accusations by other members of the UNSC.

“Let’s move aside from speculations, accusations, from searching for Russian phantoms flying all over different corners of Ukraine, but let’s concentrate attention on what we can do – in this case I’m directing my eyesight at my Western colleagues – in order to prevent the Kiev authorities’ reckless actions, which at this moment are embodied in the criminal order of Mr. Turchinov, and to prevent the realization of this order, which will have the most severe implications primarily for the people of Ukraine.”

In response to his Ukrainian colleague’s accusations that Russia is engaged in supporting terrorism in Ukraine, Churkin responded: “Why did you not accuse of terrorism those who were terrorizing your government for a span of several months?”

“Those who actually terrorized the security forces, who actually set on fire the policemen, shot at them, just like they did at those who were protesting against the authorities and seemingly acted on their side. Those people, for some reason, you did not call terrorists, and even relieved them from any liability for their criminal actions that were conducted over several months.”

Churkin called accusations against Russia “ridiculous” pointing out that Russia’s calls to start negotiations at the beginning of the crisis were ignored. “Why did you encourage this crisis?” Churkin asked.

“Russia, throughout the stretch of the Ukrainian crisis spoke out not for aggravation of the crisis, not to destabilize the country,” but to “keep the situation stable” in the neighboring country, Churkin told the UNSC, adding, “it is not our fault what we are witnessing there.”

He also questioned the role the US plays in the EU decision making process, citing the fact that Washington was quick to answer President’s Putin letter addressed to EU nations, on gas transit to Europe. “We will have to wait and see if there is any sovereignty left in the EU. Can it independently make decisions that could lead the situation out of crisis?”

Churkin also stressed that Russia repeatedly stated that constitutional reform mentioned in February 21 agreement has to be implemented to avoid the escalation of tensions. He also stressed that FM Sergey Lavrov in his conversations with his counterpart John Kerry, always tries to explain to him the position of pro-federalization activists, so the US can get a full picture of the tension in Ukraine.

And while Russia and the US continue their talks, Churkin says, some politicians in the US already state that these conversations “will not lead to anything” and are just being conducted by the US to “occupy time.”

“Occupy time? So, does that means that someone in Washington actually has something like Turchinov’s armed scenario in their heads? If so, let’s not accuse Russia of seeking to destabilize the situation.”

Churkin also accused the West of double standards, pointing out the fact that the West encouraged actions to overthrow the government in Kiev in February, while at the same time condemning the events in the East of the country, where people reject the new rule forcefully imposed on them.

Russia’s UN envoy also said that there seems to be a total disconnect in Kiev’s approach to the crisis, as the acting prime minister Yatsenyuk is talking of the possibility of referendum while Turchinov at the same time is giving crackdown orders. “It seems they prefer to use force,” Churkin said.

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power speaks at the United Nations Security Council during a meeting called by Russia April 13, 2014 at the United Nations in New York

When Samantha Power took the floor for the second time she stressed the US consistently “called for de-escalation and urged restraint” when dealing with the Ukrainian crisis, saying “there has been no shortage of evidence in diplomacy.”

She once again blamed Russia for fuelling Ukrainian crisis.

“It is not the United States that escalated the situation. It is the Russian Federation,” Power said, stating that it is hard to “reconcile the behavior of the Russian Federation, the propaganda of the Russian Federation, the military actions of the Russian Federation which range from the massing of 40,000 troops at the border to the subversive activities inside Ukraine” with “this appeal for diplomacy and de-escalation, and an appeal we wish was in fact sincere.”

Power said that Russia’s point of view is “rooted in the idea that the internet does not exist” where people can see all the “evidence.” She claimed that pro-federalization rallies are not protests, but instead are a series of military operations by “professional forces, carrying weapons, Russian made weapons as it happens, carrying out sophisticated, complicated military operations across a substantial number of eastern Ukrainian cities.”

Finally, Powers said that the “credibility of the Russian Federation has been greatly undermined.”

In his final address to the council, Churkin expressed hope that his calls will eventually find some response, and the bloodshed in Ukraine will be prevented while there is still time.

“Maybe, he Vice President Biden will pick up the phone and call Mr. Turchinov, as he numerously called Mr. Yanukovich before Feb 21?” Churkin asked. “Just call to tell Mr. Turchinov the same thing he told Mr. Yanukovich. He told him, as press service of vice president reported: ‘For god’s sake don’t use force, get rid of your security forces from central Kiev.”

“And now what, the US will endorse the realization of this criminal order to use armed forces?” Churkin said, urging Samantha Power to tell Biden to “immediately” call Kiev instead of waiting for a planned visit, as “in a couple of hours the situation can take an irreversible turn.”

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting requested by Russia to discuss the Kiev’s decision to use military forces to crush protests in Eastern Ukraine.

The United Nations Security Council emergency session was requested by Russia to discuss Ukraine’s declaration of a so-called “anti-terrorist operation” against pro-federation protesters in Eastern Ukraine.

The session was initially planned to be closed, but several Security Council members were pushing for an open format.

The urgent meeting comes after the coup-imposed Kiev government authorized the use of the military in Ukraine’s south-eastern regions to supress the popular uprising.

Events on the ground have taken a very dangerous turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday, slamming the order of a full-scale military operation as “criminal.”

“The Kiev authorities, who self-proclaimed themselves as a result of a coup, have embarked on the violent military suppression of the protests,” the ministry said adding that the rallies, which have gripped the Donbas region were prompted by Kiev’s disregard of the legitimate interests the people.

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Yanukovich sent letter to Putin asking for Russian military presence in Ukraine – Russia’s UN envoy

President Viktor Yanukovich

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin says ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has sent a letter to Putin asking him to use military force in Ukraine to restore law and order.

“Under the influence of Western countries, there are open acts of terror and violence,” Churkin quoted the letter from Yanukovich to Putin in the third emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

People are being persecuted for language and political reasons,” Churkin read. ”So in this regard I would call on the President of Russia, Mr. Putin, asking him to use the armed forces of the Russian Federation to establish legitimacy, peace, law and order, stability and defending the people of Ukraine.”

After reading the letter, Churkin held up a copy of the original letter from Yanukovich to Putin for council members to look at.

Churkin also told the UN Security Council that it is about protecting the rights of the Russian-speaking population there.

Russia considers it necessary to ensure that the agreement between Viktor Yanukovich and the opposition on the crisis in Ukraine is fulfilled, Churkin told the UNSC.

Churkin said it is essential that the obligations set forth in the agreement on February 21 be fulfilled, such as beginning the process of constitutional reform with full participation and contributions from all regions of Ukraine for subsequent approval in a national referendum, and the formation of a legitimate government of national unity in the interests of all political forces and regions.

Churkin clarified at the UNSC meeting that Russia’s goal is not to return ousted leader Viktor Yanukovich to power, but acknowledged that he is still the legitimate president of Ukraine and that his fate should be decided by the people of Ukraine.

Military at the boundary of the Sevastopol naval detachment and the Ukrainian state border guard service in Balaklava district near Sevastopol.

He stressed the need to “rein in the radicals” operating in Ukraine and asked Ukrainian opposition leaders to dissociate themselves from them.

Churkin added that new information is emerging about more provocations in the works against the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine.

People’s self-defense units were formed in a situation where threats and forceful actions of ultra-nationalists puts at risk the lives of Russian citizens and the Russian-speaking population. The units already managed to prevent the capture of administrative buildings and the smuggling of large amounts of firearms and explosives by radicals, Churkin explained.

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power followed Churkin’s comments in front of the UN Security Council, saying that Russia’s actions regarding Ukraine are a “violation of international law.”

It is a fact that today Russian jets entered Ukrainian airspace,” Power said. “Russia military action is a violation of international law. Russian military bases in Ukraine are secure. Russian mobilization is a response to an imaginary threat. Military action can not be justified on the basis of threats that haven’t been made or aren’t being carried out. Russia needs to engage directly with the government of Ukraine.”

Powers appealed for human rights monitors to be sent to Ukraine, while calling on Russia to “immediately pull back” deployed forces.

“Russia has every right to wish events had turned out differently. It doesn’t have the right to express that using military force,” Power said.

Ukraine Ambassador to the United Nations Yuriy Sergeyev said his country has “not received a compelling answer” on Russia’s stated reasons for moves into Crimea.

A soldier outside the Sevastopol coastguard unit of the Ukrainian Border-guard Service.

You call it a coup d’etat. We call it a revolution of dignity,” Sergeyev said, speaking in the direction of Russia’s Churkin.

We [Ukraine] have a different understanding of human rights than you [Russia],” Sergeyev added.

Liu Jieyi, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, said China condemns the recent extremist violence in Ukraine.

“We urge all sides to resolve differences through legal framework” and to protect rights of all people, Jieyi said.

The Ukrainian parliament in Kiev in its first days disturbed eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, where many Russian speakers live, by voting to repeal a law which gave regional status to the Russian language. Seeing this as part of an anti-Russian discriminatory stance of the government, some of the regions denounced Kiev and said they would not be taking orders from the new regime.

Authorities in Crimea requested Moscow’s assistance after parliament voted to repeal the law.

More than half of the Crimean population are Russian and use only the Russian language for their communication. The residents have announced they will hold a referendum on March 30 to determine the fate of the Ukrainian autonomous region.

Facts you need to know about Crimea and why it is in turmoil

Crimean authorities denounced the self-proclaimed government in Kiev and declared that all Ukrainian law enforcement and military deployed in the peninsula must take orders from them. The majority of troops in Crimea switched sides in favor of local authorities.

In the wake of the escalation, the self-imposed president of Ukraine, Aleksandr Turchinov, spoke out against the language vote, stating on Monday evening that he will not sign the decision to repeal the language law. Instead, he will wait until a working group drafts a new law that will allow the use of all languages in Ukraine.

In the 1990s, the status of Sevastopol became the subject of endless debates between Russia and Ukraine. Following negotiations, the city and surrounding territories were granted a special “state significance” status within the Ukrainian state, and some of the naval facilities were leased to Russia for its Black Sea Fleet until at least 2047. According to the agreement, Russia can have no more than 25,000 personnel in Crimea, RIA Novosti reported.

Feeling a threat from the self-appointed government, a number of regions have stood up against it. Thousands of people across eastern and southern Ukraine are flooding the streets of major cities, urging local authorities to disobey Kiev’s orders. The local population has deemed the government in Kiev illegitimate, demanding that their local governments refuse to take orders from it.

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