RIA Novosti: Kiev’s actions may lead to Ukraine’s “disintegration” – Russian speaker

Valentina Matviyenko file photo

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, May 8, 2014) Ukraine is turning into a Middle East in Europe – a source of constant political instability – the Federation Council Chair Valentina Matviyenko thinks.

“This is happening because Kiev stubbornly does not want to enter into a dialogue with residents of the country’s eastern and southern regions, to listen to their demands and look for ways to resolve the situation together with them,” she told RIA Novosti on Thursday [8 May]. Instead, Matviyenko said, the Kiev authorities have launched a full-scale war against their own people.

In recent days, Ukrainian security and law-enforcement agencies have been conducting large-scale operations in the south-east of Ukraine to suppress protests of supporters of federalization who disagreed with the violent change of government in Kiev and are in favour of holding a referend um on the status of the regions. The main centres of resistance are Donetsk, Slovyansk, Kramatorsk and other cities of Donetsk Region, as well as Luhansk.

At the same time, the Federation Council speaker did not rule out that, in the future, such actions could lead to Ukraine’s territorial disintegration. “The war against the people… [ellipsis as published] is fraught with a conclusive split of the country. For now this is a civil rift, but unless the factors that caused it are eliminated, it will inevitably become political, which means that in the future we can not rule out the country’s territorial disintegration,” she said. If this happens, Matviyenko added, the responsibility will fall entirely on Kiev and “its Western patrons”.

In this connection, the Federation Council speaker said that it was necessary to start a national dialogue in Ukraine, aimed at civil reconciliation, before the presidential election scheduled for 25 May. Otherwise, she believes, the election can hardly be recognized as legitimate. “But it is absolutely clear that the presidential election in the situation when military actions are under way, when the country is teetering on the brink of a civil war, can hardly be described as free and fair. It is important that the election results are accepted in all regions. Otherwise, no matter who is elected president in such an election, he will certainly be perceived in the eyes of many citizens of Ukraine and the international community as a ‘lame duck’,” Matviyenko said.

She noted that a national dialogue would be productive only if it involves representatives of all regions, first of all the south-eastern regions of Ukraine. They have the right to present their position and their vision of Ukraine’s system of governance, to ensure their legitimate right to free use of the Russian language and Russian-language education, she said. “Everything possible must be done, using, in particular, the OSCE’s potentia l to prevent Ukraine from sliding towards a national catastrophe, to stop the war, to create conditions for the country’s return to normal. It would also be helpful to hold a round table with the participation of all Ukrainian regions – an idea suggested by [German] Chancellor (Angela) Merkel and supported by Russia,” Matviyenko said.

[“The first thing should be Kiev’s cancellation of the order to use the army and the national guard against their own population,” Matviyenko said, according to privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax.]