Crisis in Ukraine was instigated by the West
It’s not a matter of whether Ukraine joins the European Union or the Customs Union. Instead, the real issue is that the West has aimed to put a sanitary cordon around Russia for 20 years, journalist and historian Marcus Papadopolous told RT.
RT: It looks like those demonstrators being held by the authorities during the protest could well be released, and the president is also making some sort of concessions. So do you think the opposition will be appeased by these latest moves?
Marcus Papadopolous: Viktor Yanukovich, the democratically elected president of Ukraine, is currently exploring all the options which would be best for his country - be it in the European Union or in the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. And that’s no different to how British Prime Minister David Cameron is currently considering all the options for reforming Britain’s relationship with the European Union. That’s how a democracy works, but unfortunately the protestors in central Kiev who don’t represent the whole of the Ukrainian population are simply intent on two things - having president Yanukovich’s head on a silver platter and having Ukraine join the European Union. And they’re using violence and they’re using bully-boy tactics to try and achieve this. And that’s completely unacceptable. That’s not how a democracy works, and European Union officials - who are supporting some of these violent protests, who are encouraging some of these violent protests - should be ashamed of themselves.
RT: Well they say they are there to diffuse the situation, along with the US diplomats. But it looks as if they’ve probably done that now, haven’t they?
MP: Well they’re certainly portraying themselves as knights in shining armor, there to save the day in Ukraine - and that line is being spun by the western media. It would make a great Hollywood movie, it really would. The reality of course is very different. The reality is that the crisis in Ukraine has been instigated by the West - and I say the West, not just the European Union - because the European Union is a key component of the West and what we’re seeing. It’s not just simply a matter of ‘does Ukraine join the European Union or the Customs Union for the West.’ It’s a matter of what’s been going on for the last 20 years since the breakup of the Soviet Union. The West, for the last 20 years, has been attempting to put a sanitary cordon around Russia in the form of EU states and NATO states - and now we’re seeing a construction of a missile defense shield in Romania and Poland.
RT: When it comes to Ukraine, does it look as if the EU is wining? Because after all, Yanukovich is almost making hints of doing yet another U-turn, so he’s going to revisit this in March and look at more renegotiation. How would Russia regard that?
MP: It’s a big decision. It’s a major decision for Ukraine to either join the European Union or the Customs Union. But President Yanukovich is under immense pressure by Western media. Also, we’re seeing Western politicians - and we’ve also had the former President of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili - go to Ukraine, an independent sovereign country. And they’re encouraging protests against the Ukrainian government, which was democratically elected in 2010. So yes, President Yanukovich is under tremendous pressure at the moment. But we must remember that what we are hearing in the West from our politicians and from our journalists does not correspond to the reality of the situation in Ukraine. President Yanukovich is democratically elected and he has every right to decide, which is best for Ukraine, be it the Customs Union or the European Union. And what we’ve been seeing in the last couple of weeks in Ukraine - violent protests, western politicians flying in and encouraging what I would argue is a coup, and early elections - is absolutely unacceptable and has nothing to do with democracy.