Interfax: Gorbachev: West has probably accepted fact that Crimea is Russia
(Interfax – November 19, 2014) Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev believes that Russia and the West should find a compromise on the Ukrainian crisis or they will lose.
“It [a compromise] has not been found yet, but it is quite possible. I think Russia and the entire Europe will lose if that doesn’t happen. The responsibility will then rest with the current leaders,” Gorbachev said in an interview published in the Wednesday edition of Komsomolskaya Pravda.
Responding to a question as to whether the West has accepted the fact that Crimea will stay Russian, Gorbachev said: “I think it they have already accepted that.”
Gorbachev also said he has discussed the Ukrainian issue in a recent meeting with Angela Merkel in Berlin. However, he would not give any details of the meeting before informing the Russian president about them.
Gorbachev also spoke about the causes of the current crisis in Ukraine. “The cause is still the collapse of the USSR. They should have gone back to the issue of Crimea when they started discussing the Belovezha Accords,” he said.
Gorbachev also reproached Boris Yeltsin for his position on Crimea. “Did we keep silent about Crimea at least for one year? The fleet is ours. And Ukraine had no choice. We conducted negotiations and they agreed. How could it have been otherwise if the Russians have fought for this land for so many centuries? Ukraine as a state emerged under Lenin. Before that, that territory was part of Russia,’ Gorbachev said.
Gorbachev said he supports the reunion of Crimea and Russia. “I approve of it because the people of Crimea spoke in favor of it almost unanimously. And they voted for it. I hadn’t even expected it,” he said.
Commenting on the accusations of violations of international law by Russia, Gorbachev said: “Where was international law when the USSR was disintegrating? Does it mean that the West trusted us? Good. Then they should not interfere.”