MOSCOW, June 4 (RIA Novosti) – Kiev needs Moscow as a strategic partner to help it implement joint projects that are essential for Ukraine to achieve its full potential, says Serhiy Arbuzov, Ukraine’s former Deputy Prime Minister.
“Russia is Ukraine’s strategic partner. This relationship requires a lot of effort, but it’s a goal worth working towards because its joint projects with Russia will help Ukraine realize its potential, as it was agreed,” Arbuzov said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
The former deputy prime minister, who succeeded Ukraine’s deposed premier Mykola Azarov as the interim head of government in January 2014, called on the authorities in Kiev to “pay maximum attention” to its ties with Russia, saying “Ukraine can’t do without this partner.”
Arbuzov commented on the statement of Ukraine’s National Security Committee Secretary Andriy Parubiy who said earlier that Kiev was planning to quit the Russia-led Community of Independent States (CIS), a political block of ex-Soviet countries, saying he didn’t have a high opinion of the politicians who suggested this move.
“I know the people who made this decision, I don’t have a high opinion of them, I think these claims are emotional, hasty, hysterical and calling for trouble in Ukraine,” Arbuzov told RIA Novosti.
According to Deputy Ukrainian Foreign Minister Danylo Lubkivsky, the decision to back out from the Commonwealth is mostly due to the CIS’s failure to take a common stand on the Ukrainian crisis. A CIS representative told RIA Novosti in late May that the organization had not yet received any notification about the potential withdrawal.