‘Ukraine ceasefire will hardly make any difference to US Congress’
RT:Washington and certain European leaders seem to differ in their certainty over whether Russia is involved in eastern Ukraine. How is that even possible? Surely they share intelligence on such an important issue?
William Boardman: That always puzzled me from the beginning. Media coverage has been so slanted, in the West at least. There is almost nobody on the ground. It’s good to hear that the OSCE observers are there now and it appears that a CNN reporter was in Debaltsevo. So, maybe we could get some clear pictures of what is really happening rather than the kind of thing that Kerry says.
RT:In one of your recent articles you say that the US and Europe are deliberately de-stabilizing Ukraine. However, we've seen a ceasefire agreed in Minsk, brokered by the EU's very own Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande, so what is the EU's plan here?
WB: I wish I knew. The sense I get is that the EU is of several minds and the United States is pushing for even more confrontation. Countries in the EU, those that are closest to Ukraine, are being least enthusiastic about war, except for the Baltic States. Countries like Germany and France are trying to make it all work, but nobody really wants to work with them. It just looks like a mess to me.
RT:You also argue that after the previous ceasefire (in September), there were still people in the US calling for arms to be sent to the Ukrainian army. Do you expect these calls to continue with this new ceasefire?
WB: I don’t think this ceasefire is going to have a lot of impact on what people in Congress do. We have a Republican Congress now that is just determined to do what it wants to do and reality isn’t a major factor.
RT:Germany's then-foreign minister Guido Westerwelle was among the EU officials who joined opposition leaders at the Maidan protest rally in the Ukrainian capital last year. But he rebuffed all allegations of interference by saying that he was merely showing solidarity there. Where therefore is the line between solidarity and interference?
WB: If you are a foreign officer in the government and you’re showing up at somebody else’s rebellion, clearly you are interfering. If don’t want interfering – you don’t enter the country showing solidarity, passing out cookies like [US Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs] Victoria Nuland did.
There are others, like Senator John McCain, pushing for what eventually became the marching coup to oust the government of [President] Yanukovich.
RT:Do you believe that stirring up a revolutionary fever in Ukraine involves handing out cookies and people coming over?
WB: I’m more inclined to think that what was going on in Ukraine was Ukrainian business. The Americans and the Russians played it as they chose. But Ukraine has never been a very settled place.
RT:President Obama admitted recently that the US brokered the transition of power in Ukraine. Was that a slip of the tongue, a confession? And what do you think he meant by "brokering"?
WB: I cannot read his mind. What we know – it was a deal that lasted less than 24 hours. It never aided, I mean [Viktor] Yanukovich fled for whatever reason, but clearly because he did not feel he had the power and the authority to remain [there] safely.