‘US holds a trump card when it comes to Ukrainian crisis’
John Wight has written for newspapers and websites across the world, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal. He is also a regular commentator on RT and BBC Radio. He wrote a memoir of the five years he spent in Hollywood, where he worked in the movie industry prior to becoming a full time and activist and organizer with the US antiwar movement post-9/11. The book is titled Dreams That Die and is published by Zero Books. John is currently working on a book exploring the role of the West in the Arab Spring. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnWight1
RT:Russia's President Putin said the ceasefire was the last avenue to peace for Ukraine. Do you think there's no chance for a peaceful end now?
John Wight: The first thing that has to be acknowledged in the light of these events is the remarkable restraint shown by the Russian government in the face of the humanitarian crisis over its western border. And this seems even more remarkable when you consider that Russia possesses the wherewithal and the ability to crush Ukrainian military forces being deployed against its own citizens, if it so wished within a matter of days. But the reality is that Poroshenko, the billionaire oligarch, who is the President of the regime in Kiev is a reckless adventurer, he must ask himself what kind of backing the West is giving this man. As he must know that he is facing disaster if he continues on this course, he has just signed the Association Agreement with the EU. And this is what the EU has become - an organization that accepts into its ranks, embraces a government that is bathed in the blood of its own citizens.
RT:France and Germany, when speaking to Presidents Putin and Poroshenko, supported the ceasefire. How will they react now?
JW: At this point it is clear that the responsibility for the escalation of violence lies with Kiev and with Washington which is allowing this to continue. Let us be clear, when we say 'the West' we mean Washington - Washington holds a trump card when it comes to Mr. Poroshenko and his actions. So it would be very hard for any Western government to accept what is going on as a matter of Kiev trying to clamp down on terrorist activities in the East. In Eastern Ukraine people have risen up against what they consider to be an illegitimate government which replaced their last democratically elected government in Ukraine which was led by Mr Yanukovich which was pulled in February by an armed mob. Unless the West can put real pressure on Mr. Poroshenko and stop rewarding him with trade deals, subsides, money, association agreements, than really we are looking at a disaster. It is inevitable I am afraid.
RT:Most of Moscow's proposals on de-escalation have been rejected by Kiev, but the US still says Moscow must do more to help ease the situation. What could they possibly want Russia to do?
JW: What they want Russia to do is what they want every nation in the world to do. They want Russia to bend their knee to the writ from Washington. The problem we have is despite Mr. Putin’s reasoned and statesman-like address, Washington cannot conceive of any relationship in the world with anyone, other than on the terms of their domination. What Mr. Putin is asking for is a change in mindset, which holds true to domination and hegemony rather than cooperation, respect, partnership and sovereignty. Until that mindset changes I am afraid Mr. Putin is whistling in the wind.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.