Last week the US House of Representatives introduced new legislation, authorizing $1 billion in military aid to Kiev, including weaponry. The document allows the Head of the White House to supply arms to Ukraine. The Ukrainian authorities made up a list of the necessary weaponry and sent it to Washington. It was announced by the President Poroshenko's advisor Biryukov. According to him, the negotiations in this field have not been ceased. They are being held at the level of Minister of Defense.
"How strong is Obama in his intention to help Ukraine with the weaponry?"
"The legislation is very dangerous, because if it is signed, the law by President Obama, not only would he be arming the Ukrainian army, but also all these neo-Nazi paramilitary groups. It's clearly provided for in the legislation. So, this could be very dangerous, you should know. Azov brigade of Right Sector and many neo-Nazi groups running around Ukraine. And the legislation would provide for all of them to be armed, not just the Ukrainian army. And this would obviously require US trainers in Ukraine. And, as you know, starting in March, Obama says he's sending 300 trainers over there. So, I'm afraid if to start arming not just the Ukrainian army, but also these neo-Nazi groups and with US trainers over there, this would be a significant escalation of the dispute. Right now we have the Minsk-2 agreement and I think all records should be made by all parties to show up this agreement to produce a genuine ceasefire at both sides and the withdrawal of heavy weapons including artillery. I know the latest report today from the reputable even Western press services is that the Russian speakers are starting to withdraw their heavy artillery. But, so far, the government of Ukraine says they are not going to do it. So, I think it is quite serious. President Obama should be putting pressure on the Ukrainian government to live up to the Minsk-2 agreement."
"So, we can say that there is such a goal to ruin the armistice in such a way?"
"I think the armistice is a way to go, not arming the Ukrainian army, and these neo-Nazi paramilitary groups I know this, we're seeing Secretary of State Kerry making a very belligerent and insulting statement yesterday in his testimony in the Senate. By comparison, President Putin made a statement yesterday of ruling out what he called cataclysmic war with Ukraine. So, I would hope that the Obama Administration would get behind the Minsk-2 agreement. As you know, Obama was not at Minsk-2, it's not clear what the ultimate position will be, but I think that's the one hope we have - to calm down the situation in Ukraine and perhaps produce some type of negotiated settlement between both sides, that would avoid further definite destruction and a major escalation of a military conflict."
"In Russia they say that the US will put Poroshenko out of the way and bring to power Turchinov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council with unprecedented authorities. What do you think?"
"It's clear after the fiasco in Debaltseve that Poroshenko, his position is tenuous. Remember, he's the United States' man. So, he could be put out, I don't know what will happen there, but, I think if anyone were to take his place, it would be Yatsenyuk. Remember, going back to the secretly recorded conversation by the neo-conservative Nuland, with the US Ambassador. They said that Yatsenyuk was their man. So, I suspect he would be next on America's list if Poroshenko would fall. I don't know what will happen here, I guess we will find out in the next several days for sure, but Debaltseve was clearly a fiasco for Poroshenko and calls in question his judgment."
"And what do common American citizens think about the events in Ukraine?"
"I regret to report that the US news media here, the mainstream news media for the past year has been doing nothing, but war maundering, vilifying Russia and demonizing President Putin. This is going on now continuously for a year without better, without sources, almost no voices are being allowed on the mainstream news medaia to contradict this propaganda. I haven't seen that here since the early days of the Reagan Administration since back in the early 1980s. It's pretty bad, and as you saw this latest public opinion poll put up by Gallup showed an increase in hostility against Russia, according to this public opinion poll. Remember, the public opinion poll, if you read this small print, was only of 837 people. We have 330 mln people over here. So, you have to be very careful even with those polls. But, it doesn't surprise me after one year they have just sustained war mongering and propaganda against Russia and the insulting comparisons of President Putin to Hitler, even by largely responsible people. It's no surprise that the American people are now adopting a fairly negative attitude towards Russia over Ukraine."
"The US Army commander in Europe, Lieutenant General Frederick Ben Hodges claimed that the city of Mariupol is a Black Sea port, while in fact it is situated on the coast of the Sea of Azov. What suggests such lack of information? Is it mere ignorance or NATO isn't going to wage war in Ukraine and they are just talking about it?"
"Well, you can have two alternatives to that. Unfortunately, so many Americans know so little about geography, even at the highest levels of the Government, and don't care all that much about it. The second alternative is that, you know, this is a deliberate insult. I really don't know, they do the same thing over there in Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, etc. They want to insult you, so they change the names around. So, I really don't know how to characterize that one way with the other. But I regret to report, so many Americans know very little about geography, because, you know, we are an isolated continent here, all by ourselves, and pay little attention to you, people in Europe, with all the wars going back and forth across Europe for centuries."
"And how do you think, the fall in oil prices - is it a planned action with the goal to break Russia down economically?"
"It's clear the United States is waging economic warfare against Russia with its all sanctions, pushing European sanctions and then agreeing with the Saudis to drive down the price of oil, now to the level that it is about 60 dollars a barrel. So, it's clear, this is all coordinated to put pressure on Russia to capitulate to what it can be called a neo-Nazi coup in Kiev. I personally do not see Russia being in a position to stand down here, I think this is an existential threat to Russia, what we see in Ukraine with neo-Nazis coming to power in Kiev and these neo-Nazi paramilitary groups all over Western Ukraine. After all, Russia suffered in WW2 from the Germans, from the Nazis, I just don't see Russia really standing down here.
"I do see so far President Putin bending over backward to try to produce a solution that would preserve the independent Ukraine with rights for the Russian speakers, including federalization. But right now I don't see any evidence that the US government has changed its policy. I do think we've seen the German Chancellor Merkel and also the French President Hollande realizing the dangers of the situation, which is why they pushed the Minsk-2 to try to head off Obama sending weapons over to Ukraine. But whether this will prevail, I just do not know. Secretary Kerry's remarks are not very promising - he called Russians liars. At this nature I think this is a very undiplomatic behaviour, threats, bullying and accusations by the US Secretary of State. By comparison, your Foreign Minister Lavrov is a professional diplomat, he does not resort to flexing accusations. So, that is not a good sign of Secretary of State. Kerry said he will be making a recommendation of President Obama the next few days about sending weapons to Ukraine. I certainly hope they would not be sent, but we just don't know now, we're really at a critical turning point. Will there be peace in Ukraine, or further military escalation, I can't say."
"Should Russia cooperate with the US in fight against ISIS? Isn't it bargaining with the US on Ukraine? Bargaining should be conducted, as Russia sets itself up as a superpower, while the US don't want to give up the positions they gained in the 90s. So, what should be the subject of an auction?"
"Well, I think it's becoming increasingly clear that it was the US and its goal for allies that arm equipment supplied and set up ISIS, and this is serving the purposes of the US. So, Russia cooperating, I guess you can if you want to, but I suspect your intelligence agencies over there can reach the same conclusions. Clearly, if the US want to make progress on different issues in the world, they will certainly have to cooperate with Russia. I think that's very clear. But, unfortunately, the US wants Ukraine no matter what. You have to understand that the forces mobilized against Russia here in the US are twofold. First, you have all the neo-liberals headed by Zbigniew Brzezinski. Brzezinski was Obama's mentor at Columbia University when Obama was a student there, and then he ran Obama's foreign affairs and defense campaign in 2008, and has staffed his Administration with his proteges in powers up to including Obama's top Russian expert at the National Security Council.
"So, you have the entire neo-liberal wing up the Democratic Party pretty much mobilized against Russia. And the second very powerful faction are the neo-conservatives, and they too are typified by Nuland who is a neo-conservative, and her husband is a prominent neo-conservative. And they too are mobilized against Russia, so there's hardly any opposition among the American foreign policy to what is going on here and the news media just falls into lie together with what these two factions say. So, if you have all the neo-liberals against Russia and all the neo-conservatives against Russia, it squeezes out almost anyone else trying to oppose the policies that are put into place, and I'm afraid, we stole Ukraine fair and square in a coup against Yanukovych and we're going to keep it no matter what, and if Russia doesn't like it, they are no longer a superpower, they no longer can really oppose our will, and they just gonna have to take it and deal with it. I think it's a very foolish policy, that is not really aware of the historical realities of Russia, and the history here in the Second World War, in the First World War, and the existential importance of Ukraine to Russia. But there it is, that is what we are dealing with, and you know both sides of the Atlantic here, you people in Russia and those of us here in America who favour a peaceful resolution at this field in Ukraine, which I think is possible. But right now I am not sure anyone over here in the US, in the government is working toward that objective. It only appears to me that we see Merkel and Hollande and a few of the Europeans working in that direction at this strive to head off an escalation here."
"And where could be held the new Yalta conference on the delimitation of areas of control?"
"Well, I think what we need know is an immediate ceasefire in place as call for by Minsk-2 to withdraw heavy weapons, which the separatists have said they are doing, the Ukrainian government said they are not doing, and then sitting down in negotiating over federalization for the Russian speakers in Ukraine. President Putin says he supports federalization, and it makes perfect sense to me. If Kiev doesn't like the word, well fine, you can call it something else, but certainly lawyers can come up with a constitutional arrangement, so that Russian speakers in Ukraine can have genuine autonomy to run their affairs, to protect the language, educate their children, the Russian orthodox religion, and their customs and habits. I live in the State of Illinois, in the USA, we are a federal state, and most of my daily life is regulated by the State of Illinois and not by the US federal government. So, if it's good enough for the USA, seems to me it should be good enough for Ukraine.
"And I think the US government should be supporting federalization in Ukraine. But right now they are not, and it doesn't make any sense at all. If we are a federal state here in the US, why can there not be a federalized arrangement in Ukraine? You can call it something else if you want to, the lawyers can always work it out. Take a look at our Constitution over here. If they want to, there's Germany, a federal state over there. There are different models that could be used. If there's good faith by the US backing this type of negotiations, that could be taken care of."
"We could say that Europe is afraid that war can spread to Europe, Russia is afraid of economic chaos, Ukraine is afraid of everything, and what are the US afraid of?"
"I regret to say, it doesn't appear they are afraid of anything. You know, they are talking about nuclear weapons over there, which is just pure insanity, and they are prepared to stand down Russia no matter what it takes. The US government believes that if there is escalation here, they would be able to dominate Russia every stage of the escalation and that eventually Russia will capitulate. I even heard that statement made by President Obama that the US has better conventional weapons than Russia, which is pretty absurd, but this is the advice he's getting. Remember the Obama's no great expert on foreign affairs and defense policy, he was behind me at Harvard law school, we went to the same programme there. His area of expertise is civil rights law, so basically he does what his advisors tell him to do, and right now he is the top advisor on Russia in the White House, is a Brzezinski protege.
"And I personally believe that it is Brzezinski calling the shots here. I went through the same Ph.D. programme in Harvard that produced Brzezinski before me. As you know, he is an expatriate Pole, from Poland, hates Russia, Russians with a passion, wants to use Ukraine against Russia for the purpose of colour revolution and to break the Russian Federation of into its constituent units. And I regret to say this is the type of advice Obama is getting from Brzezinski and his proteges in the White House today as we speak. And now this new Secretary Defense Carter seems to be going along the same direction too. His predecessor Hagel, I knew Hagel, a far more responsible reflective person was not on board with the Ukraine policy, but now, it looks like Carter is. So, it's a very dangerous situation. I really don't know where the voices of moderation are here in the US government. You know, Obama certainly not calling me up, even though he knows well who I am. I regret to say, I just don't see any moderating forces, secretary Kerry at times sounds I would say irrational if not demented. So, it's a very dangerous situation over here."
Dr. Francis Boyle for Pravda.Ru
You can also watch the video of the conversation with Dr. Boyle on PravdaTV channel