‘US blaming Ukrainian authorities for violence is catastrophic move’
Sieff believes the turmoil in Ukrainian has been triggered by pressures from the EU, unwilling to accept Kiev’s decision to put European integration deal on hold. Now the stance that the US and the EU have taken in supporting the insurgents in Ukraine might inspire similar processes in Western Europe, where secessionist movements are on the rise.
RT:We've heard a number of people say on this very channel today, that with America's unconditional backing - the opposition feels it can get away with a lot more. Could Washington's support be fueling the violence?
Martin Sieff: To some degree yes but not totally. Washington is certainly culpable, but I think Washington is being ill-served by Brussels and the European Union. The primary triggers for the crisis came from the pressures that the European Union put on Ukraine and for the EU’s refusal to play a good loser when President Yanukovich decided that he could not go through with the terms that the EU had laid down for association.
Washington has followed Brussels’ lead continually on this and they should not have done so. The US State Department, at the highest policy-making levels, is relatively weakly staffed when it comes to Europe and, for that matter, Russia. The main emphasis in recent years has been primarily on the Asian Pacific and also on the Middle East. They’ve ignored Europe and this lack of high-powered expertise is now starting to tail.
RT:What do you make of Washington blaming the authorities in Kiev for this violence?
MS: It’s a catastrophic move, it’s a revolutionary move. There are far greater dangerous implications to this than anybody in Washington or Western Europe seems to realize. It is placing the European Union and the United States on the side of revolutionary chaos and disorder not just in other countries around the world, which would be bad enough, but in the heartland of Europe. This is very dangerous and irresponsible.
RT:Did the EU and the US not see the rise of nationalism and extremism in these riots? In effect what we’re seeing is a revolution and that’s what the nationalists want. Is that what the EU and US wanted?
MS: They ought not to want it, you’re absolutely right. For the EU especially there is an enormous paradox here. The forces that are seeking to break up Ukraine are the same forces that are seeking to destabilize Western European nations. There are major secessionist movements within Western European nations. We see Scotland, very peacefully, about to become independent with its referendum vote scheduled for later this year. Spain has acted very successfully to prevent the disintegration of its country, especially the Barcelona/Catalonia region. The Northern league is a very powerful force, and a relatively moderate responsible force but if rioting was taking place in the street of Spain, France, Italy, Britain, with the express purpose of toppling the government and splitting the state, Europe would not be fanning the forces of destruction along. They would be reining them in. Why then are they fanning the flames over there [in Ukraine]?