Crimean-born Ukrainian journalist Pavlo Kazarin says that the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea by Russia is more a story about Russian President Vladimir Putin's place in history textbooks rather than about money or economy.
"One should understand that the annexation of Crimea is not about money. Everyone remembers that Empress [of Russia] Catherine the Great annexed Crimea [in 1776]. The story about the annexation of [modern] Crimea is not a story about economy, it's a story about the place in history textbooks," Kazarin told Ukraine's Pryamiy TV Channel.
"If tomorrow he [Vladimir Putin] also decides he will be able to return modern Belarus' territory back to the dying [Russian] empire through the creation of a union state or the deployment of additional military bases, he will do that... If you have a maniac next door, the very fact of being his neighbor is an act of provoking this maniac into committing any action," Kazarin said.
"Do you know what actually provokes Russia? Your Ukrainian passport. The very fact that you live in a state that has its own government. The fact that you live in a state that has its own language. The fact that you live in a state with the internationally recognized borders. And as long as the Ukrainian state exists on the map, this very fact will be considered by the Russian empire as a factor of provocation," he said.