'Obama and Kerry fail to show leadership qualities required to settle Ukrainian issue'
RT:President Obama says Russia's done nothing to meet its Geneva pledges. However, it’s likely to be more applicable to the US itself. Why is Washington acting like this?
Patrick Young: I think the State Department is probably under great stress at the moment. Of course we’ve seen President Obama, in the course of the last three or four days, doing shuttle diplomacy through South-East Asia. This was supposed to be an incredible ceremonial tour where he would sign multiple free trade agreements, including with Japan. Instead he ended up to play football with robots in Tokyo. Why? Because ultimately his trade agenda is failing as it goes along. Therefore, given the poor quality of negotiation skills by the US, it’s hardly surprising that they are trying to do anything to take away the news. And therefore, we see Mr. Obama once again being a puppet ministered by the neo-cons that are still behind him, as an administration who simply see everything as being bad in Russia. It’s quite clear from what Mr. Lavrov has said, and has been saying, that he is trying everything to encourage people to disarm and therefore, active attempts to try to diffuse the Ukrainian situation.
RT:What is the American policy aimed at? Does the United States actually want the two sides in Ukraine to reach a deal?
PY: I think it’s very worrying because certainly the US seems to have had a remarkable transition in Ukraine. It seemed to be absolutely fine when you wanted to mount barricades in Maidan and there were people like John McCain to speak to them. Not only we have got this very fractured situation in Eastern Ukraine about which the Russians had previously warned us. Ultimately we have got a singular failure of diplomacy but particularly from the Western side at the moment. And of course what is happening, President Obama is rushing off to this mantra of claiming that he wants even greater sanctions.
RT:What does the United States expect of Russia, then? It can't send in its military to disarm the pro-Russian protesters in Ukraine. It's asked them to disarm, what more can it do?
PY: Personally I’m confused because let’s put it another way. If Russia sent in troops to forcibly disarm the people who are holding the buildings, then America would claim they are invading. I really don’t know. The American picture is not clear. The Foreign Secretary Mr. Kerry perennially, as we know from his election campaign for president, has always been one peppermint tea short of a full bag of coffee when he is at the diner. Ultimately it’s a huge problem in this environment at the moment. I don’t think America knows what it wants because ultimately America had set their eyes on the idea Ukraine is going to be something like the 29th state of the EU or perhaps even the 52nd state of the US. None of those were ever going to come to pass, the money is not there from the US and Europe to support whether it’s the rump Ukraine or whichever part of Ukraine it is. It’s confusing. America is not clear and simply "blamestorming" Russia is not going to help the situation.
RT:Neither Kiev nor the protesters seem to have stuck to the Geneva accord. Are they each waiting for the other side to act first?
PY: The problem we have here is a huge loss of faith on all parts. America clearly doesn’t trust Russia, at the same time there is a huge number of people on the ground in Ukraine who’ve been simply left behind. We are not talking about particularly the Eastern Ukrainians who have actually invaded these buildings, those occupying groups are one thing. But actually let’s face it: Ukraine is being run by a non-democratically appointed government that seems to have the blessing of the US. It’s not democratic, there are democratic elections supposedly taking place at the moment but as we can see, all the great powers are in there trying to shuffle things for their influence. It looks very 19th century in the way the things are going on at the moment.
RT:Why can’t the sides of the conflict reach any compromise? Or why the US doesn’t want to negotiate with Russia at least?
PY: Unfortunately, it is very difficult and this is a situation because after all as we know President Yanukovich, who was deeply flawed in his ability to govern, but was nonetheless the democratically elected president, ultimately had to flee the day after we had a group of Western politicians telling us that they had come to a wondrous solution in Kiev. Therefore, when there are challenges over the whole issue, it really requires leadership and statesmanship. The terrible problem is that Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry repeatedly fail to have those abilities that they demonstrate. Let’s put it another way. Today we are celebrating in Poland the canonization of Pope John Paul II, there was leader and he stood on the world stage at the time we had Mrs. Thatcher, Ronald Reagan – they may have been the absolute enemies of the old Soviet system but they were people who could do business with and did business with Mr. Gorbachev at the time. That’s the total change that we have in this situation, we have a series of political pygmies throughout the West, none of whom really realize that their word must be their bond.
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