‘West not interested in investigating in eastern Ukraine’
RT:This is the seventh UN Human Rights report on the situation in East Ukraine. Which is the most eye-opening element to you?
Alexander Mercouris: First of all it does show a very grim picture in Ukraine. But at the same time it is very careful not to point a finger at the people who are most responsible for this, which is of course the Ukrainian government. That is not just my view; this is a very widespread view that is held right across the whole international commentary community.
RT:The UN report touches on the issue of mass graves for the first time. Do you think we will see a thorough international investigation now?
AM: One would like to think so but I’m very cynical about this. The problem with mass graves is that again the finger of suspicion points very much towards the Ukrainian government because many people who were there were previously held by the Ukrainian government or its forces. So given that the Ukrainian government has great support in the West and given that it is also the government in Kiev at the moment, I can’t say an international consensus is building up that would be necessary to carry out the investigation that this kind of situation requires.
RT:The UN is also demanding an investigation into the use of cluster munitions that, it says, could amount to war crimes. What are the chances of anyone being brought to book over the use of these weapons?
AM: It is absolutely clear [that] they have been used. Anybody who has been following the news on the Ukrainian conflict knows that it is hardly a secret. And that again points to the same problem. Yes, we now have a report which basically says there is evidence that they have been used. But given the fact that there is evidence and that evidence has been around for such a long time. The extraordinary thing is that there hasn’t been an investigation. And I am afraid the same political caucus is going to prevent an investigation into the mass graves, is going to prevent an investigation into the use of the cluster munitions. The western powers do not want a situation where the Ukrainian government is found to be guilty of war crimes.
RT: A US Deputy National Security Adviser suggests that Washington should start supplying lethal weapons to the Ukrainian army. How does this sit with UN calls for the peaceful settlement and investigation of the violence?
AM: It doesn’t tie in at all. They are absolutely contradicted. The one way that you can make a bad situation even worse is by pouring even more arms into this problem. The way out for the Ukraine is for there to be negotiations between the Ukrainian government and the people in eastern Ukraine who rose up against it back in the spring. We have been saying it … week after week, month after month. It never happens. Instead of which we now hear calls for further arms to be send which can only lead inevitably to a further violent escalation.
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