Zakharova: Too Soon to Say if Russia Will Recognize Results of Ukraine’s Corrupt Election!
Vladimir Solovyov. Sunday Evening
— No one wanted war. War was inevitable. Russia must prevent the implementation of such a scenario said Sergey Lavrov, the head of the Foreign Ministry. The US blitz to overthrow the government in Venezuela has failed. But there's no rest for the wicked. Pompeo leaves the possibility of military intervention open. The United States applies the same destabilization approach in the Middle East. Mueller's report didn't yield results so it's going to be replaced — a report on the Assange case is being prepared. It turned out he's being persecuted not only for the truth he told. It's suspected that the WikiLeaks project was operating for the benefit of Russia.
Director of the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova is online with us. Maria, let's start with the topic of Ukraine, moreover, there was a hot dispute here just before you. What is our position towards the election? What's the Foreign Ministry's view on the situation in Ukraine today?
Maria Zakharova, Director of the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Interestingly enough, a meeting on foreign defense policy was held in Moscow Oblast yesterday. This is a structure that brings together our leading political analysts, observers, and international journalists who give their own, alternative opinions that sometimes concur or oppose the opinion of the Foreign Ministry or other executive bodies of the Russian Federation regarding foreign policy and the international situation. The most surprising thing that even became a kind of revelation for me was that there were no questions about the Middle East for Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. There wasn't even a single question about the United States. There were about twenty questions asked but none of them were about those subjects yet there were many questions about Ukraine. I don't think it's a coincidence. I think it's like in a prism. Everything converges here — the situation with our overseas colleagues, which is even more visible in Ukraine's example, and the situation with global democratic processes in general that became clear during the election fever, if I may put it this way, that is in full swing there right now. This was a really central topic of communication between the Foreign Defense Policy Council and the Russian Foreign Minister. I mean the situation in Ukraine and its future because this is a matter that concerns everyone. Not from the point of how Ukraine will determine its own future, that's an issue for the Ukrainian people, the point is about the way our neighbor is going to develop and what will happen to citizens of the neighboring state that has the common border with us. We all remember what happened to citizens of Ukraine in 2013-2014 and this affected Russia and its internal affairs as well. The USA is far away. Europe clearly doesn't need Ukrainian citizens. So they came to Russia. Many hundreds of thousands of them came here. That's why when people ask why Ukraine is so much of the concern for Russia, we have a clear answer to that. Because Ukrainian citizens during all these years have been seeking refuge in our country.
I was touched to the quick by the words that were voiced during the previous part of your debate regarding that the West, the United States, Europe should keep their hands off Ukraine. That's an absolutely unrealistic scenario. No matter how many years, ages would pass, no matter the changes occurring in different parts of the globe, no one will ever abandon their interests in other countries. We should be realistic. Indeed, we take international law into account, we proceed from the fact there should be a kind of lawfulness on the international arena. But we're realists. We understand that neither Brussels nor Washington will give up their interests. They'll never keep their hands off Ukraine. This is a different matter. The matter is Ukraine and Ukrainian citizens should finally realize after all these years of tragedy and ordeals that Ukraine has its own national interests as well. And they may be different from those of other countries. That's how sovereignty works.
— But what should we do with all of this? Shall we recognize it or not? What's our position on it?
— By the way, this is the question the Foreign Ministry is asked all the time — what will happen to the second round and what will happen after it. I'd like to emphasize our position once more. It's the election of the president of Ukraine. Ukrainian citizens partake in it. We'll esteem this on our own on what's going on in Ukraine I mean the results of the presidential election only after the whole process is over. After the second round takes place, after all the votes are counted and international observers, which sadly don't include Russians, issue their qualified opinion. We will proceed from this and very quickly make the appropriate assessment.
But there's another crucial point. I mean what we have already stated after and, most importantly, before the first round when the electoral atmosphere was forming and the entire situation was taking shape before voting. There is a large part, and I'm not exaggerating here, a large part of Ukrainian citizens that were cut out of exercising their civil rights. It was done clearly on purpose. I mean Donbass, first of all, and also the citizens who were abroad at the moment, most of whom were in the Russian Federation. But first of all, Donbass. We were told Kiev couldn't and can't exercise the right of citizens to vote and declare their will at the territory since it doesn't have control over the territory and it's all in all dangerous. All of this is worthless excuses for one simple reason. By the way, it was suggested that the people who lived in Donbass should go to the so-called inland part of Ukraine, the main part in other words, and vote there. I'd like to point out this is not the responsibility of citizens to run after the government, asking them to allow them to vote or help them organize the election. It's the government that should exercise the right of its citizens to declare their will in the first place. Secondly, we can see how Mr. Poroshenko (God forgive me) is taking trips abroad, meeting with presidents of other countries. Yesterday he was in Berlin; now, already he's in Paris. Why didn't he pay the visits at least a month before the first round of the election? Why didn't the president of Ukraine ask his Western supervisors for help to organize the voting in Donbass? Including the help of the OSCE. Why didn't he make the issue of carrying out the vote in Donbass the main point in the last six months in the framework of the contact group? Why didn't it become the number one priority for the executive power and for the legislative power in Ukraine as well during the final months? The answer is clear — the Kiev regime doesn't consider them to be Ukrainian citizens. Those people aren't part of Ukraine. When we talk about whether the election is legitimate or not, there's going to be a lot of talking about it soon, we should give an estimation after the second round. This is not all about it. What the Kiev regime did was completely legitimizes a special attitude towards the residents of Donbass including that of the Russian Federation. The residents were struck off the list of citizens by the authorities of their own country. They did it on their own. No one forced them to do so. It was up to them to do so, and they did. I think that President Poroshenko will go down in history as the president who, with his personal decision, struck out these people from the population of Ukraine. We should keep that in mind.
— I hope that our position will be reasonable, as it usually is for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, impeccable in terms of legal regulations, and, which is important, not hasty. I mean my personal point of view is well-known, but I'm not a government employee. So the international policy of the Russian Federation isn't in my area of responsibility. I always give only my personal opinion. I want the residents of Donbass to be happy at last, that they can live in a country that takes care of them, that recognizes their rights and can provide a good, peaceful life for them. If Ukraine has turned its back on them, it means that sooner or later the decision should be made, not only by the international community, but by the residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics and by Russia as the country that has been doing everything possible to avoid the humanitarian disaster that the Nazi Ukrainian regime prepared for them. I understand we don't know what Russia's decision on all of it will be, it's too early to assume that. We should take a very careful approach. Let's wait for the outcome of the election. The main thing is that we aren't rushing to recognize anything. We're watching closely. Am I laying out our position properly?
— May I just smile at this?