The Association Agreement between Brussels and Kiev challenges Russia. In addition, the balance between sanctions and dialogue to appease Moscow: Ihor Dolhov, Ukrainian Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg do not want to give up the trade with Russia.
Tageblatt: Currently it looks like that the EU tightened its sanctions against Russia.
Ihor Dolhov: "If the EU imposes more sanctions Russia increasingly on trade issues, we follow this course. Nevertheless, Russia has a good market. We also turn away from other former Soviet states. Kazakhstan, for example, a very important trading partner for us. Uzbekistan is to grow it. Kyrgyzstan actively builds relationships with China. This gives us additional opportunities. The markets are global. We live in a globalized world. "
The trigger of the crisis
The current crisis was partly triggered by that Russia did not want to leave by the free trade agreement between the EU and Ukraine are pushing to the sidelines. If the agreement but should enter into force end of 2015, but it comes back to the same situation as at the beginning of the conflict.
IH: "I agree with you. But what was before that? Why would Russia be involved? The causes are well known: Russia is afraid of possible damage to its markets. So they wanted to start discussing unrealistic elements that would happen not even. And yet they were concerned. Why? This is a basic orientation of Russian foreign policy: You do not want that Ukraine be integrated into Europe. You do not even want to see in a nightmare as a NATO member Ukraine. This explains the overall behavior of the Russian Federation. "
"The people will decide"
You're the answer, why I find the current Ukrainian government will, together with the approximation to the EU and to NATO for the next disaster. No one excuses the Russian law breaks, but if you perfectly understand the Russian mentality, why you can actually get it on the next conflict?
IH: "Let's be very clear on this point: It is up to each individual state and the people to decide how they want to defend their national interests. The answer lies not in Moscow but in Kiev. And if the Ukrainians want to be in NATO, then they will be there. "
Despite this, Russia considered your state as an integral part of its sphere of influence. This may remind you of Soviet thinking, but in real terms politically and geo-strategically, this is the Russian action logic. Why do you take a chance?
IH: "This is the Russian perspective on things. As a matter of fact. But that does not mean however, that this view is acceptable. Ukraine, the EU, the USA and NATO must tell Russia that it should forget the old times. The global security structure has just arrived in a post-Cold War period: All the rules were broken because of irrational acts and aggressions of Russia. So we have no reliable and functional security structures more. That's why we respect the NATO Your it comes to the defense of allies. We have since the last summit more potential for cooperation, but NATO can not yet defend the Ukrainian territory. The Ukrainians have to fight for their independence and national security, to defend their borders. "
The question of neutrality
You have not answered my question. Why does your country is not at least a neutral role, without chumming NATO or Russia? You are in the grip of two global player, you can take advantage as a buffer state for your competition. Why let himself be exploited in this economic war for such power games?
IH: "There is a very clear answer: When Ukraine in 1994 decided against its nuclear power and weapons, we were given the guarantee that our territorial integrity, our security and the inviolability of our borders would be respected. This document is known as the Budapest Memorandum. It was signed, among others, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. France and China have joined later. But what is the result? Does this document protected us from external aggression? No. "
The entire conversation with the ambassador read in the Saturday edition of the daily paper.
(Dhiraj Sabharwal / Tageblatt.lu)