‘You cannot have the same Ukraine we had before this conflict started’
On September 3 Russian President Putin had a phone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko concerning possible steps aimed at resolving the Ukrainian crisis. Initially Poroshenko’s office said the Presidents talked of a “permanent ceasefire,” however that has since been changed and described as a ceasefire "regime."
“In the course of today’s phone call between Putin and Poroshenko there was indeed an exchange of views that went a long way toward an agreement on steps to be taken for a swift end to the clashes taking place between the Ukrainian military and the south-eastern uprising,” Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.
RT:Why has Ukraine finally agreed to announce moves towards a ceasefire?
Aleksandr Pavic: I think the key to this is the military success of the Yankee Kiev forces in Donbass. I think without that Kiev probably wouldn’t be ready for this. If they had been able to successfully conduct the so-called anti-terrorist action and actually suppress the resistance that formed after the new government took power in Kiev this past winter. I think if they had been able to carry that through we probably wouldn’t be talking about any peace plan today, we would probably be talking about growth of warfare. I think this is the key.
RT:Do you think Kiev has total control of all the forces? Will they be able to honor the ceasefire?
AP: I don’t think they have total control. Some forces are independent, some forces are actually even under the control or heavy influence of outside forces, perhaps the NATO countries, but it may be that it is in everyone’s interest right now, to Kiev and its allies, for there to be a ceasefire for them to consolidate because they are actually suffering quite heavy losses in the past few days.
RT:How confident are you that this ceasefire would hold?
AP: I am afraid that looks like a tactic, I don’t know if it is a strategy because for that we would have to hear a clear statement from Kiev that they are really ready to talk to the people of Donbass, with their legitimate representatives about a real long-term, not just peace settlement, but an arrangement on how to run the country, meaning they will have to recognize the political people that have come to the forefront over the past months from Donbass. If that doesn’t happen there will be only a temporary peace.
RT:Are we going to see dialogue or is the ceasefire a pause for Kiev to reorganize its army?
AP: Right now it looks this way, unless we hear a clear willingness of Kiev either from Mr. Poroshenko or somebody higher up in the government’s structure that they are ready for direct talks with representatives from Donbass or Novorossia.
RT:Will the West change its rhetoric now?
AP: I think it must change. You can’t say “We are against peace,” so the rhetoric will be positive. However, its actions will speak more loudly than words, especially the upcoming NATO summit in Wales, and we will see what kind of tones emanate from there. If the West says they are interested in long-term peace, then Kiev will have no alternative. So it is really important to hear what Washington and Brussels, London and Berlin have to say about this, we haven’t heard anything yet.
RT:The self-proclaimed republics say they by no means would remain within Ukraine. Is Kiev ready for that?
AP: I don't think Kiev can afford to be in position to recognize another part of the country going off on its own like it happened with Crimea for the all internal political reasons. On the other hand, it’s very hard for people who have taken up arms in the past few months. A lot of blood have been shed, it would be really difficult for them to just say “Oh yes, we will just reintegrate into this country with the capital that has been waging a war against us in the past few months.” Practically if there is some sort of willingness to compromise and some sort of a loose federation or even a confederation, it might be the recipe for success. Otherwise you just cannot have the same sort of country we had before this conflict started.
RT:Given the anti-Russian sentiment in Ukraine and an impending economic crisis, how will the decision impact the support of President Poroshenko?
AP: The radical anti-Russian forces would be opposed to this, that’s for sure. I think the majority of people want peace in Ukraine itself, it is just a question of whether their voices are going to be heard, whether we are going to have new elections. If we have a relatively free election campaign where various candidates can really voice what they think, the majority voice can get some representative voices to speak in their name, we might see what people feel and that most people of Ukraine want peace, they do not want to wage war in any cause just to have a technically unified country where the part is at war with another part or there is a permanent hatred there. So if we have free and open discussion as part of the election campaign, it would really help to cause peace.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.