'EU Parliament is not really calling for peace in Ukraine'

AFP Photo / Emmanuel Dunand
Until the Kiev government and EU align their words with their actions under the Minsk peace process, there will be no peace in Eastern Ukraine, Anna Van Densky, political commentator from the EU Reporter Magazine, told RT.

On Sunday Kiev resumed combat operations in the Donetsk region despite Moscow’s proposal last week that both sides in the ongoing East Ukraine conflict withdraw their heavy artillery.

READ MORE:Poroshenko rejected Putin’s artillery withdrawal plan, began assault - Kremlin

RT: Kiev has officially announced and launched this assault - that's clearly a violation of the ceasefire deal - what kind of international reaction should we expect?

Anna Van Densky: Well, firstly I see this is a direct connection between last week’s resolution of the European Parliament encouraging military action and what happened today, because the European Union should take its fair share of respect for the peace process, the Minsk peace process, and the process that was launched previously in Geneva, but what we see in the Parliament didn’t happen. The resolution one might call much more anti-Russian than pro-Ukrainian because it openly invites, that’s the word they use, to research what further sanctions against Russia they could engage, and they suggest the finance and nuclear [sector]. And nuclear is extremely dangerous because we have already observed accidents, fortunately minor accidents in Ukraine at power plant stations which were using American fuel, fuel rods for Soviet-designed plants which created collisions. So the Parliament is not really calling for peace. It’s ambivalent that they engage in bilateral sales of weapons to Ukraine. I think that was the signal the Parliament sent to the government of Ukraine and of course the hawks of war immediately took it to their advantage.

READ MORE:EU Parliament wants to keep Russia sanctions, set ‘benchmarks’ for lifting them

A residential building near Donetsk railway station damaged in the result of shelling by the Ukrainian army. Donetsk, Ukraine (RIA Novosti / Mikhail Parhomenko)

RT: What's behind Kiev's actions? Why do you think it decided to defy the Minsk peace plan?

AVD: Well, because I think that there is no encouragement from the side of the European Union because I think all parties engaged in the Minsk peace process- not only Russia, not only the Russian population of Ukraine, the population of Donbass - but the European Union and Kiev should be equally all interested sides... Of course the Ukrainian conflict is the responsibility of President Poroshenko, but the European Union and Russia are equally interested in a peaceful resolution of the conflict because it’s their close neighborhood and it’s a transit country for Russian gas. So I mean the situation is the way we see it because there is not enough or there is an unclear message from the European Union. Because from one side they say “Yes, we go to Astana”, but we saw that on [January] 15th nothing happened there although President Nazarbayev is really one of the architects of a peaceful Europe...His country is an example of how one should deal with nuclear waste and with nuclear energy.

So I mean in this sense especially this nuclear part of the resolution of the European Parliament is very dangerous, and it encourages a very wrong current within the Ukrainian government, because it’s now playing with the nuclear market of Ukraine instead of concentrating on the peace process. I think that Europe should really take its fair share in supporting the Minsk process and unless it happens the warfare will unfortunately go on.

RT: Is there a chance at all of a peaceful resolution to the problem and how much hope do you have?

AVD: Well, of course there is only one resolution – it’s a peaceful political process, because neither Russians living in Donbass, nor Russia which is actually supporting this peace process would agree to create bloodshed in this region. So of course Russia represents the interests of Russian speakers of Donbass. And as member of the Security Council of the United Nations they would never allow also to just wipe these people from the Earth with shelling in the name or in sake of Ukrainian statehood. And also it’s not a real statehood because we see their private armies; we saw already a lot of nationalists there, so Ukrainian statehood is in a profound crisis. What we should do, is we should unite all the forces. I mean of course first of all the European Union because they signed this Association Agreement with Ukraine and that the initial problem that created this infringement…[The EU is] now giving money, they are giving finance to the Ukrainian government because as we know before the Maidan revolution the Ukrainian state was already bankrupt. They had a huge sovereign debt of $30 billion, but now it’s much more. So if [the EU] as a major donor now of the Kiev government will not say or act accordingly, so they have to align their words with their actions, there will be no peace, I’m afraid, in Eastern Ukraine.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.