Article by: Iryna Hnatyshyn
“Before you claimed Europe was simply psychologically afraid of ‘leaving its comfort zone.’ And the matter is not even its dependence on Russia… So, Dalia Grybauskaitė is right and there is a real threat that Putin cannot be stopped?”
I absolutely agree with Dalia Grybauskaitė, I applaud her and bow before her, because she is probably on of the few people in Europe who understand the entirety of the threat and who understand Putin. Very frequently European experts, and some Ukrainian ones, consider Putin’s actions incomprehensible, saying he went nuts, went crazy, and don’t seem to understand him. Grybauskaitė does understand him, possibly, because her country, Lithuania, is the most vulnerable one next to Russia.
Russia constantly organizes provocations, Russian jets are constantly flying at the Lithuanian border, they are forced to fly NATO destroyers in response. It is reported that only this year, NATO aviation was forced to fly near the Lithuanian borders 68 times to prevent provocations on part of Russia, which is more than in the past 10 years. Therefore, Mrs. Grybauskaitė is on the front line, she understands what is happening with Ukraine very well.
“Russia is leading a very active information attack in Europe. How much behind are we, and how would you evaluate Ukraine’s diplomatic achievements or failures in this context?”
What I am really satisfied with about Poroshenko’s first hundred days in power, is his diplomatic success. He really managed to construct an information campaign, information policies among diplomatic circles in Europe and the world. And the successful trip to the Unites States confirmed this, everything went quite well. However, the issue is not that the conflict is long-lasting, and Europe is already slightly tired of such tension. Winter is approaching, and Europe is once more raising the issue of reestablishing the comfort zone it is used to living in: to stop this conflict at any cost, so that it stops annoying Europe, the Europeans, and the world in general. And here, Ukraine was ‘sold out’ to a certain degree. Had we simply stated that these territories (Donbas – ed.) were temporarily occupied and distanced ourselves from them, it would have been a different story. But we did not say it, we are going to hold elections. And this, essentially, is like a ship going further with half of it underwater. This is why Poroshenko claims Ukraine has to go further, however we will be unable to do so in this condition.
“Obviously, that we have already seen who Ukraine’s friends are, such as Poland, Lithuania. As to the support of so-called ‘Old Europe,’ is it simply tired and will not make any active steps towards Ukraine?”
I am also counting very much on Great Britain’s support, as it is quite radical in its statements and its position, and is less inclined to compromise. Germany has really resorted to some radicalization. France, which is very nice, refused to supply Russia with the Mistral ships, however, this is probably only a forced step to save their own face. We’ll see.
In reality, Europe has to understand that Putin is leading an expansionist policy, which is the only form which ensures the survival of an empire. All empires have expansionist policies. As long as Russia employs such policies, it will exist as a state. As soon as this expansion is stopped or it exhausts itself in Russia itself, Russia will fall apart.
Therefore, it is possible that the European Union and the world should make more of an effort to undermine Putin’s propaganda from the inside of the Russian state, to support the opposition, to support the independent media, possibly, to support some international centers of influence on the Russian Federation, on the Russian public. It is necessary to return to the policies we had during the Soviet Union.