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Nationalists ‘no longer useful, embarrassing’ to Ukraine putsch regime

Published time: March 30, 2014 02:57
Supporters of the right wing party Pravyi Sector (Right Sector) protest in front of the Ukrainian Parliament in Kiev on March 28, 2014.(AFP Photo / Genya Savilov)

Brussels had much better reasons to denounce the actions of radical groups in Ukraine earlier, but deliberately turned a blind eye, demonstrating extreme double standards, international relations expert Mark Sleboda, told RT.

RT: Why has criticism from Europe started now?

Mark Sleboda: Well, for the last several months the Western governments and the Western press have been engaged in a policy of putting their hands over their eyes and ears, in a game of ‘See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil’, going so far as to declare that ultra-nationalist forces in Ukraine either don’t exist or trying to present them as a fringe element that had no real impact or effect on the events in the Euro-Maidan riots and putsch.

So, Catherine Ashton, baroness Ashton, the EU foreign affairs chief, had no problem with the violent activities of the Right Sector and other ultra-nationalist groups when they were directed at a democratically elected government that had the temerity to say ‘No’ to the EU’s neo-liberal shock therapy dictate and its EU Association Agreement.

What we see now is that putsch that has occupied power in Kiev – that would not have been able to take power without the violence of the Right Sector and other nationalist groups – now condemns them, to quote the self-proclaimed president of this putsch regime, for ‘Destabilizing Ukraine’.

So, this is such clear hypocrisy and double standards on behalf of the EU’s foreign affairs chief, that it’s a wonder she did not choke to death on her own words.

RT: So, how much will Brussels now concentrate on preventing the far-right gaining momentum in Ukraine?

MS: Well, they have not made a considerable effort in doing anything to stop these people from gaining power in the first place. We’ve seen previously, it was just at the end of January, that EU diplomats, ambassadors met with the Right Sector and said that they were not a threat to the country and that they presented no violence, that violence came from the government.

And as of right now, actually, the Right Sector has pretty much refrained from violence outside of the Rada, whereas a couple of months ago they were tossing Molotov cocktails and shooting policemen dead in the streets.

But right now, they are seen as no longer useful and as an embarrassment to the putsch, that has taken power, serving only to delegitimize them even further. So the EU would very much like to see them go quietly away. And if they will not go quietly away, I think the EU will back this putsch regime in using force to send them away.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.