RT: We’ll now bring in Srdja Trifkovic, who is a writer on international affairs and Foreign Affairs Editor for the magazine Chronicles. Thank you very much, Mr. Trifkovic, for joining us at RT International to discuss the situation in Ukraine. As we know, Victoria Nuland plans to meet both the government and the Ukrainian opposition. So, what’s her agenda, do you think, during her visit in Ukraine?
TRIFKOVIC: Quite clearly her agenda is regime change. The claim that she is coming to Ukraine to “aid” the Ukrainians in overcoming the crisis is reminiscent of the term “fraternal assistance to the Socialist Bloc” that was the essence of the Brezhnev Doctrine back in the 1960’s. But at least with Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev, the border of the Socialist bloc marked the end of the doctrine of limited sovereignty. With the United States and its so-called benevolent global hegemony, there is no border: every nook and cranny of the world, every spot on the planet, is a legitimate target for the Nulands of this world to come and intervene. She came in December to distribute cookies to the demonstrators. Can you imagine a Russian foreign ministry official coming to the United States, or any other place in the world, to do likewise? What I am surprised about is that the Ukrainian government—having made all sorts of concessions to the demonstrators and the opposition—is allowing this sort of thing to happen. Victoria Nuland is up to no good.
RT: Europe and the U.S. are accusing Russia of meddling in Ukrainian affairs. How do you see the situation there? Is there anything to that claim?
TRIFKOVIC: Let us face it: everybody is interfering in everybody else’s affairs in one way or another. Every political move—whether it is the EU offer of Association Agreement, which contained no money by the way, or the Russian offer of a 15 billion rescue package—is some form of pressure, because it influences the decision-making calculus. But we didn’t see Sergei Lavrov go to Ukraine, to Donetsk or to the Crimean Oblast, to interfere and to encourage pro-government protesters. In any event, Russia’s role all along seems to have been to indicate clearly what are the boundaries of Russia’s own interests in the affair: to let the Ukrainians decide, but also to make clear that if the Association Agreement with the EU is signed, there can no longer be any customs-free access to the Russian market—which is only fair enough. If it is called “pressure” to offer a fifteen-billion rescue package to a near-bankrupt country, I think there are many countries in the world that would just love to be exposed to that kind of pressure.
RT: Srdja Trifkovic, Foreign Affairs Editor for Chronicles magazine, thank you very much for your views on RT International.