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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Yushchenko Calls $5B Loan 'Molotov-Ribbentrop Protocol' (Updated)

Speaking at a national security meeting Tuesday, President Yushchenko breathed fire at PM Tymoshenko’s dealings with Russia and emphatically denied role in corrupt gas schemes.

I translated some of the juicy quotes (as originally quoted by Ukrayinska Pravda):

The hardest thing morally and psychologically is to comment on the fact that behind these two grand gas agreements a secret Molotov-Ribbentrop protocol was made, when it comes to the $5B loan on the part of Russia.

I find it revolting that, as part of the consultations, without the approval of the head of state, without the approval of parliament, the zero option is being considered.

See No. 11 where it says “the prospects of ratifying the zero option agreement.”

These are serious questions for the Ukrainian nation, ones that should not depend on the improvisation of one person, regardless of the person’s high rank.

The most cynical argument of the last few years was this: work without intermediaries. Should I say the government is working poorly, I get accused of being related to RosUkrEnergo.

I don’t want this, I’m sick of this. I was not involved in your stinky gas for a single day in my life — [it’s not true] that I had some sort of private interest in it, that either I or my family had some private interest in it! I have the honor to say this time and again.

“Not a single word of Mr. Yushchenko is true,” Tymoshenko struck back.

More quotes from Tymoshenko:

As Prime Minister, to cover the planned budget deficit, I contacted several countries to get loans as usual. Today, I’m having talks with all the countries, and all this hogwash that is being said about some zero options, about the betrayal of national interests — these are non-negotiables.

If we manage to agree with any country in the world, it will be just a simple loan agreement with a market interest rate.

I haven't seen it for the life of me. There’s no Prime Minister’s signature on it. I don’t know where these photocopies came from.

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Original source:


Anonymous said...

When Radek Sikorski described Nord Stream back in 2006 as the "Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact," the analogy stuck. Unfortunately in Mr Yushchenko's case, Ukraine is not Poland.

It was bad enough when Sikorski "historicized" the Russian-European energy security debate -- it undermined Poland's later efforts to get the Russians to build Yamal II and the proposed Amber.

Yushchenko's comment makes little sense, historically or metaphorically. If Russia is Molotov, who is Ribbentrop here? Yulia? If so, we are back to 2004 when political opponents in Ukraine were labeled as "Nazis."

Taras said...

The analogy may not be 100% accurate, but it does illustrate the point.

Tymoshenko's behavior smacks of a quid-pro-Kremlin agenda and, as much as I hate Yushchenko, I'm with him on that one.