Deal with Putin means deal with the Devil – Ukraine's Deputy PM
On February 10, the German newspaper Die Welt published an article of the Ukrainian vice-prime minister on European integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze about the West's policy regarding Ukraine and the dangers that this brings.
Many in the West seem to be contemplating "all options" to make a deal with Putin, while the Kremlin "rubs its blood-smeared hands in anticipation of a new division of the world – anticipating that Ukraine is soon to be theirs," according to the English version of the article published by Euromaidan Press.
As the conflict was erupting, Russia pleaded with no one, continuing to do their thing: disrupting, manipulating and occupying the land that wasn’t theirs, while everyone "choked back."
Read alsoRussia was preparing to annex Crimea in 2013: Justice Ministry says has enough evidence"Sadly, many in the West still seem choked. Russia messes with your elections, corrupts you, plays you – and you still plead. You still appeal to the good will of someone who made a habit of carving up his neighbors," the official wrote, adding that some probably think if the West gives Russia what they want, "this nightmare will go away."
"You just can’t figure out what they want," she wrote.
"They don’t believe in the 'rise of the West' combined with the 'rise of the rest'. All they know is this: it’s their time to rise and the West’s time to go down," the piece reads.
Rolling back the past 25 years stands atop Russia’s to-do-list, according to the Ukrainian Deputy PM.
Read alsoNYT: As fighting escalates in Ukraine, attention focuses on Donald TrumpShe brands Russia "the USSR 2.0, an FSB-run state, capable of things that USSR 1.0 could only dream of: get inside your political discourse and mess with it, de-value your values, corrupt your elites, disrupt your unions," adding that its rulers are "no big thinkers."
"They are just ordinary ex-KGB operatives with unlimited money and no scruples whatsoever. They have no grand ideas of their own, but they are good at undermining yours: EU, NATO, American dream, European home."
She emphasizes that Russia must not be given what it wants because, above all, it wants Ukraine.
Read alsoATO HQ daily report: 59 militant attacks, 2 WIA"And Ukraine won’t play along," she wrote. "It's a basic contradiction: Ukraine wants to be free, whereas Putin wants Ukraine to be on his leash. What kind of a deal can come out of it, other than at a cost of Ukraine's core and legitimate interests?"
"A deal with Putin can be like a deal with the devil: he gives you something – and you give him your whole belief system in return. He gives you something – and you put up with a new division of the world. He gives you something – and you look away when he destroys his neighbors," said Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze.
"Ten thousand Ukrainians didn’t give their lives so that Putin would get in the end what he wanted," she wrote, adding that while Ukraine has already made its choice as a free nation, now the West must make its own.
Read alsoThe Economist: Donald Trump seeks a grand bargain with Vladimir Putin"Freedom cannot be a part of geopolitical game. NATO, EU, democracy, international law cannot be for sale," she wrote. "There can't be any honest deal between the West and Russia without an honest deal between Ukraine and Russia."
And the only honest deal between Ukraine and Russia can be based on restoring Ukraine's sovereignty over its territory, according to the official. Not under Russia’s conditions, but under the conditions of international law. Sadly, it doesn't look like Russia is ready for that at this particular point.
"It's time to stand your ground," she stressed.
Read alsoMinsk-2 is dead, while occupation lives onNot a long time ago the West considered the whole world its "ground" – simply because it thought democracy was essential to all human beings. This concept is being challenged now by someone who doesn’t think much of democracy. He suggests dividing the world anew – between those who live in democracy and those who can do without.
"If the West succumbs to it, the time would be rolled back to the pre-Reagan era. The free world would become smaller. And smaller. And smaller. In the end, it will be smaller, than the world of tyranny and on retreat. Keep in mind: if freedom dies in Syria, if it dies in Ukraine – a part of it dies in the West too. So, try to do the seemingly impossible: stay strong in this time of trial. The history will measure you by that," reads the article.