Dmitry Babich is a political analyst with the Voice of Russia radio station
Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland had apologized to her European counterparts for a rude comment in conversation on Ukrainian opposition. Earlier on Thursday, a senior aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Washington of interfering in Ukraine’s domestic affairs. Sergei Glazyev said the US was spending 20 million dollars a week for arms and other help to the opposition and "rebels" in Kiev. The Voice of Russia very own political observer Dmitry Babich commented on this tricky situation.
In your opinion, who could benefit from leaking the tape and making it available to the public? Because the media are already blaming their number one enemy which is of course Russia.
This conversation was twitted by a Russian official but I don't know more than you are about who actually taped it. What appears strange to me is that Victoria Nuland apologized to the EU but she didn't apologize to Ukraine and opposition leaders because in her conversation she calls Sergey Yatsenyuk, one of the opposition leaders, Yats and she says that he should be at the government while the other one – Vitali Klitschko, she calls him Kitsch, shouldn't be at the government. If these things are insulting they are insulting in the first place to Ukraine.
The US likes to talk about Ukrainian sovereignty when relations between Russia and Ukraine are concerned but here with the US diplomat saying that Yats should be in the government and Klitsch- out of it. That is the way they treat their so-called allies in the Ukraine.
Ukraine's opposition leaders already met with the US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland in Kiev on Thursday evening and discussed the results of Nuland's visit to Ukraine. And opposition leaders held a phone conversation with Polish PM Donald Tusk concerning the results of his recent European tour. It seems like there is everybody in this formula meanwhile it is only Russia that calls on not interfering in Ukraine's domestic affairs.
The problem is that there are lots of irresponsible statements being made. Between 1991-1994 Ukraine still had former nuclear Soviet weapons on the territory, so it was theoretically a nuclear power. In 1994 these weapons were removed, they were stalled in Russia and in return Ukraine got certain guarantees of sovereignty as well as Belarus and Kazakhstan. Now the US quickly dumped these guarantees, we see how it treats Belarus and Ukraine. But the things that we hear from Oleg Tyagnebok for example, who is considered one of "the big three", are indeed appalling – that is a part of his program that Ukraine should become a nuclear power again, they want the nuclear weapons back in Ukraine. This is a cause for concern to my mind.
And Mr Tusk also made irresponsible statements, when he said that he envisioned some kind of interference from Russia after the Sochi Games end. This is just stupid. This is not for the Polish PM to make such light-hearted statements.
In fact after all her failures in Ukraine, Victoria Nuland should be fired. This is the problem with president Obama, all of his foreign policy choices were disastrous since he came to power.
Is anybody from all those nations who are not interfering in Ukraine's domestic policies, I'm talking about the West, saying anything about the fact that Ukraine own quite a lot of fabillions for their gas and that they haven't been paying Russia for a while? Do they have a solution for that – how figure out Ukraine's debt to Russia?
The West picture for Ukraine is a fantasy matter. The American media and EU media keep talking about this story when Russia basically punished Ukraine by switching off the gas supply which was supposed to go Ukraine in January 2009 because Ukraine was stealing the gas and there was a huge debt and Ukrainians just took the gas that was supposed to go to other countries of Europe. This whole matter was turned against Russia. Although Russia didn't cut the gas supplies to good customers like Germany and Bulgaria. Obviously the attitude of the leaders is that reality doesn't matter. What matters is what we report about reality.
Do you think the conversation was leaked deliberately by either side? What would be the reason to leak it deliberately if it was?
I think that basically you could leak it two days ago, you could leak it two weeks afterwards. The problem is that the US is interfering in the Ukrainian affairs and this problem will not go away. This conversation is nothing new to me. Besides Nuland's unprofessionalism I didn't see anything new in it. The official attitude of the US to the violence in Kiev is indeed very strange. They say things like "what if..." And you can say a great number of 'what if' about any crime. This is just childish talk. The crime was committed and people should be punished for it and the US should not protect them.