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    OPINION: Ukraine's Presidential Election Led to one Oligarch Replacing Another

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    Last Sunday’s presidential election in Ukraine replaced one Ukrainian oligarch with another, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Paul Craig Roberts told RIA Novosti Tuesday.

    WASHINGTON, May 27 (RIA Novosti), Lyudmila Chernova – Last Sunday’s presidential election in Ukraine replaced one Ukrainian oligarch with another, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Paul Craig Roberts told RIA Novosti Tuesday.

    “The only difference between Poroshenko’s and Yanukovich’s governments is that Poroshenko might choose to ally with Washington and become richer by participating in the West’s looting of Ukraine,” Roberts said.

    The former treasury official recalled that Poroshenko had even served as a minister in Yanukovich’s government and has been involved in political corruption in Ukraine for years.

    “Poroshenko’s palace is as sumptuous as Yanukovich’s palace,” Craig noted.

    “Things have to change in order to remain the same. The Maidan protests were for naught,” the US official said.

    “Those poor gullible Maidan protesters,” Roberts said. “How much better off Ukraine would be if they had not allowed themselves to be used by Washington.”

    The former assistant treasury secretary stressed that the Maidan protests were extremely damaging to Ukraine and harmful to Russia.

    “The greatest damage was to Ukrainian democracy,” he said. ”The coup replaced the elected government by the exercise of violence and lies, not by the exercise of the ballot box. It established in Ukraine political life that a coup is an alternative to a democratic outcome.”

    Roberts noted that the Maidan protesters also cost Ukraine the Crimea, and warned that they might yet cost Ukraine’s southern and eastern provinces that once were part of Russia.

    “The Maidan protests have resulted in a number of deaths and in the rise to influence of neo-Nazi elements,” he added. “The Maidan protests have allowed for Ukraine to be aligned with the corrupt West against Russia.”

    “Alignment with the West means that Ukraine will be looted by Western economic interests, and that Ukrainians will have their standard of living pushed lower by IMF austerity programs,” Roberts claimed.

    “Essentially, the Washington-financed NGOs operating in Ukraine have destroyed all prospects of Ukraine being a prosperous democratic country in charge of its own destiny."

    Ukraine’s billionaire Petro Poroshenko has garnered 54.5 percent of the vote in Ukraine’s presidential election with 95 percent of ballots counted, the country’s Central Election Commission announced Tuesday.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday that Moscow is ready for dialogue with Poroshenko if he acts in the interests of all Ukrainian people.

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