Putin right ignoring West's hysteria over Crimea as they provoking Russia - expert
How can you comment on the situation in the Crimea these days?
I think we will need the Obama administration to sit down and negotiate in good faith with the Russian government. Foreign Minister Lavrov and President Putin have made a reasonable offer here as to proceeding into the future, but regretfully it looks like the Obama administration is more interested in escalating the situation. So, I cannot say I am overly optimistic. Yesterday, President Putin said that he did not want to engage in any more measures of retaliation, which was a good thing, and then immediately National Security advisor Rice came out and started to provoke the situation again. My advice to Russia would be to continue with President Putin’s policy and not respond to their provocations, because I think they are trying to provoke Russia.
The Ukrainians have the election scheduled for May 25. Do you think the results of that election could actually produce a leader that Russia will be able to find common ground with? Perhaps, that would be one of the steps in resolving the crisis, what do you think?
I guess it depends on the fairness of this election. My understanding is that the OSCE is now sending in observers. I can certainly understand why Russia will not negotiate or agree with the current government of neo-Nazi thugs in Kiev. There is no other words to describe these people. And I also think it was an insult yesterday for President Obama to tell President Putin that he should be negotiating with this gang of thugs in Kiev. But it could be there would be legitimate elections and as a result of those elections the Russian government might then be able to negotiate with the new government, the real government in Kiev. Right now you just have neo-Nazi rabble running Kiev and these demands, both by Secretary of State Kerry and also President Obama, for President Putin’s Foreign Minister Lavrov to negotiate with these thugs, I personally find insulting and I can agree why you would not want to negotiate with these people.
There is about six month left before intense gas heating period, which will be ahead for Europe and Ukraine. We have a situation when Europeans are dependent, for now dependent, on Russian gas, as is Ukraine. Russia needs to get that gas to them through Ukraine. What possibly is going to be the factor that might help Ukraine and Russia come to terms and solve their differences? Is there an international organization that could be helpful in resolving this issue?
First, we need a legitimate government in Ukraine for Russia to deal with. How can you deal with these right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis? I certainly would not deal with them. But I guess that is for Russia to decide. I do agree with your premise that it is in Russia’s interest to stabilize the situation in Ukraine. Ukraine is now a failed state and there needs to be stability in there. Russia certainly does not want instability. I noticed President Putin has said the same thing, and curiously even after these events President Putin offered to send more loan money to Ukraine, and yet the US knows the Ukraine has to work first with the IMF.