tv Talk to Al Jazeera Al Jazeera March 9, 2014 7:00pm-7:31pm EDT
states is committed to the safe return of robert levinson to his family. >> "talk to al jazeera" with yulia tymoschenko is up next. you can find us online, go to aljazeera.com. why. >> the kremlin today has declared war. not on crimea, not oukraine. bull the crèm kremlin declared n the whole world. ask the world not to let the blood of these peaceful people to be shed.
>> tymoshenko is on the limelight again. she was part of the orange revolution. >> i like most of our people, have to repent. i have to recognize my mistakes. >> i spoke to the polarizing former credit prime minister in kiev. >> there is a very real chance as you know well, that you could lose the crimea. if that happened, what would that mean to the ukraine? and the to the rest of the world? >> i think that today is not just ukraine that will lose crimea. it is the whole world if it is not reacting to the situation will lose stability. i think all top leaders in the world should be aware of this. the kremlin today has declared
war not ocrimea, not on ukraine. but the kremlin declared war on the whole world. >> if diplomacy does not work, what would you like the world to do? >> evidently diplomacy isn't working now. the more time we lose the biggerrer the risks we -- bigger the risks we face. negotiating groups could resolve the situation at the very hirest level. -- highest level. will not receive significant results. instead, it will result where the march referendum will be held and ukraine will lose crimea under threat of armed force. today world leaders have to apply a completely different messed. i'm convinced that the kremlin
and vladimir putin the kremlin's master do not plan to start a new world war. my vision is the countries who agree to guarantee our security when we gave up our nuclear weapons, that would be the united states and great britain, if they now demonstrate their power that could be a peaceful credit answer. the aggres aggressor will retreo his own country. the one thing world leaders cannot do now is lose time. they cannot leave ukraine on its own. every ukrainian believes that the world will not leave ukraine on its own, to the aggressor who are why violating all treaties. the critical date is the date of the referendum. if the international community allows this referendum to be
held then our struggle would be much more difficult. i call to all national leaders not to allow this referendum to be conducted and to not allow this brutal destabilization of the world. if key world leaders and the country that promised us to protect credit territorial integrity when we gave up nuclear weapons, then these sanctions like weapons will destroy all the plans of the aggressor to capture the territory of the other country. if a real war starts in crimea, if putin starts a real war in crimea, and if he starts to take our territories for real, ukrainians will fight to the death. a lot of blood will be shed. people will perish.
they will give up their lives and if the world stays inactive then not only putin but the world will be to blame. >> as you point out: this threatens to become an armed conflict. is there any point at which you would ask the rest of the world to come in, mill tailor, you have -- militarily, you have troops on your territory right now. is there any point at which the world should react with military force? >> i cannot give advice to the countries that signed the budapest memorandum with ukraine which led to ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons voluntarily. i cannot give them advice.
i just tell them to honor their guarantees. i don't mean that a first shot should be heard. it must be like the cuban missile crisis. when two superpowers clashed. but they ended the conflict peacefully and they kept the whole world quiet. i would call it peaceful greetings by powerful forces. and my opinion is that the containment strategy should be applied as soon as possible. otherwise, the aggressor will be out of control. if in the 21st century the russian federation and the peaceful europe is loud to capture a territory belonging to another country by force, then i think the world will be in danger. >> that conflict in the caribbean you talk about the cuban missile crisis, that threatened to put the world into the middle of a nuclear war.
so there are serious consequences for making a threat, when the world stands together behind ukraine, ultimately does that not mean that it says, in the end, it would be willing to use military force if necessary? >> i gave the example of the powerful containment strategy and i think the russian aggression today should be addressed with an adequate strategy. i think a bi big aggression can only be off the top of my head e over, and the aggressor is well enough. there will be no armed conflict but status quo will be reached. and i am totally convinced that if ukraine is taken over now that will pose a danger to the whole world. this is just the beginning of a negative process that may arise globally. so far ukrainians are absolutely
peaceful. we are a peaceful nation. we are a peaceful country. we are not ready for these senseless fights. and we are not ready for the senseless loss of human lives. yes, we are mobilized and we do stand guarding our borders. but we guard our border peacefully and i'm afraid that the russian federation needs us to stay peaceful, so they can come in and take our land. and i ask the world not to allow that. that's my only request to the world. you know that yesterday, our military service men raised their banners, absolutely peacefully, without any guns, singing our anthem. they were approaching their enemies. and in fact, applying this peaceful nature they got back their territory. this is an example of how ukrainians fight today. i ask the world not to allow the blood of these peaceful people
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you you. >> you're watching al jazeera. my guest is yulia tymoshenko, former ukrainian prime minister and a leader in the orange revolution. >> let me ask you about your role. you as prime minister were someone who did business with putin. he never supported your imprisonment, if i understand that correctly. do you feel that that in the past you were wrong to have dealt with putin perhaps trusted him, and more importantly, has this event exchanged your view of putin? what do you think of him now?
>> are i worked with putin wheni was prime minister. he was also prime minister at that time and so there was cooperation. currently i'm not the prime minister. in fact i'm a political prisoner who has just been released from prison but our team is using all possible means to stop this congregation. today i -- aggression. today i cannot communicate with putin and i think negotiation is should not be credit conducted by ukraine. ukraine has a very weak position in any negotiation. and if the talk is only between kook and russia,-- ukraine and russia then russia will pressure ukraine to capitulate and aggressive requests from the russian federation. that shouldn't be allowed. my vision today of the format of negotiations should be absolutely different. and ukraine should stay outside
any negotiations. today, the leaders of the countries which gave us guarantees and signed the budapest memorandum are the ones that should conduct negotiations with putin. i think currently ukraine can be protected only by the world and the powerful countries which initially gave these guarantees. in my view, direct negotiations between russia and ukraine would not have any hope, and would be harmful and bound to be lost. i also think, if the leaders of the countries that gave us guarantees hold negotiations with the leadership of the russian federation, then they have no right to accept a compromise. no compromise or anything in russia's favor should be tolerated between the world and the leaders of the russian federation. we should return to the status quo and full independence, and
full territorial integrity of ukraine. today putin doesn't have any right to dictate his conditions on ukraine. ukraine should not be a country up for negotiation. i think a real leader would never pose a threat to the peace in the region or the world. a real leader inspires people for positive change. a leader should inspire peace, adherence to international law and friendly relations. anything else done today cannot be attributed to a real leader. i think that now putin is losing his position as a leader. >> let me ask you a little about yourself. what -- you have i understand met with john kerry, you have been talking to other world leaders, i believe. what's your role in the future? who you -- would you owners would you -- would you consider a role such as prime minister or
president? would you seek it? >> my life is devoted to my country. and now, when the times are so hard, when every ukrainian is waiting for news about whether war is going to break out, that's the time when every single family think about only one thing: how the crimean will be resolved. during these times it is just not appropriate to think about politics, to take any political steps. it is not the time to discuss political rangling. i hope the world will resolve this crisis very ca quickly ande will have the opportunity to talk about our future. >> what would you say to the people who have been protesting,
the demonstrators who are very cynical about government up till now, and some of whom have told us they don't want anything to do with people who have been in the government in the past, and those of you who have been in the government, should not be listened to. how would you respond to that feeling? i know you've played a dear price for your role. >> currently, all those who are in ukrainian politics were previously in the power structures. there are no other politicians. secondly, after 22 years of independence, there will be fair presidential elections in ukraine. and i am convinced that this time, the people of ukraine will have an opportunity to elect the leader they consider appropriate. and that's the big achievement of the revolution that has occurred. the right to free and totally fair choice.
during the revolution, the people rose above any politician. all politicians will have to change now. in order to be worthy of the people. >> i understand that, and those people are speaking out. do they have a point, though, in their criticism of people who have played a role in the government? i know that you've paid a dear price for opposing the previous administration. do they have a point to say, the people who are involved in this government, they bear some of the blame? >> i must say that i, just like any politician, has to repent in front of our people. just as any politician, i have to recognize my mistakes. the most important thing is not to just admit mistakes but to change ourselves. to change to such an extent that
we can be worthy of our people. at the same time, i would like to say i am one of the politicians who have been thoroughly investigated. when the regime of yanukovych came to power, everyone was investigated. every single thing related to me was checked. every single cent of government expenditure, every single signed document. every single decision of mine as a prime minister. and i'm very proud of the fact that i have been so deeply audited by the regime and there hasn't been a single cent found related to corruption, and not a single violation of the law has been found. i'm convinced that very soon, the european court of human rights will find all these accusations to be without merit. these accusation he of senseless d accusations are senseless and
supporting ukraine against putin's russia. and you bring up the analogy of the cuban missile crisis. in that case you had a russian leader coming up against an american leader who was firm and threatened force. now you have people threatening sanctions. so far nobody is threatening force and your people are standing on the front lines against russian troops. how do you see this ending? >> i think everything will depend on the position of those countries who undertook to protect the territorial integrity of ukraine, and its peace. if the opposition is strong. the aggressor will retreat. if the opposition is weak and ukraine is left with on its own with the russian federation then it will be very difficult to
predict anything. i think if a stronger power doesn't stop the russian federation then it will go as far as the world will allow it. >> but how can you ultimately off the russistop russia even we union fied communitunified act f the european aren't willing to go with sanctions or sanctions enough? >> if sanctions of the most possible type could really destabilize the economic situation for the russian federation which cynically violates international law and international treaties. weak sanctions unfortunately will not resolve the situation. durs his press d during his pressing conference yesterday putin said something very
particular to him. he said any sanctions applied to him would strike being back like a boomerang to all other countries. becaushe is partly right because sanctions may have a negative impact on the financial and economic situation for countries. but the european union, the united states and great britain mutts sacrifice something in order to are preserve peace and quiet throughout the world. they must sacrifice something in order to preserve stability in the world. i would tell them that these are just energy resources. and their people will accept, if their governments protect ukraine. i would say that the world must not let ukraine be the first country where people actually die for the cause of a eurnd europunitedeurope not for theirn
territory not for their own country. they gave their lives for europe because they believe and they now believe in the credit values proclaimed by europe. and if ukraine is left now without any help during these hard times, that will be very cruel to those who already spilled their blood in this revolution. believing in the true values and the true standards of peace and quiet reigning throughout the world. >> you're talking about the people who died here in kiev? >> yes. you know the revolution started the moment yanukovych actually stopped the process of signing the agreement with the european union. he stopped the movement of
ukraine in the direction of joining europe. it triggered the revolution. and this movement was for ukraine to be part of the united europe and for european values. >> do you want to see ukraine laying towards the west? or stay where it's been, which is a middle road between the west and russia? >> i know that russia has partly achieved its objective by means of this aggression and the majority of politicians and analysts monitoring the situation in ukraine have begun to say ukraine is better left in this gray zone and it would be better if ukraine stayed in the middle of nowhere to ensure peace in the region. i support peace and quiet in the region of course. but i would like to remind you that more than 70% of ukrainians want to be part of europe and that should be taken into account.
if russia daycares t daiks to dd how to be produce geopolitical relationships there is no hope for the world. i think whatever way russia behaves the european union and the whole democratic world has to do their best to ensure that the association agreement is signed with ukraine and to not leave ukraine in the gray zone. >> that sounds like leaning west. >> absolutely. i think that ukraine's joining europe and the association agreement is the first step. it's like coming home. and we have to come home. >> is it fair to say you would not rule out playing a role? >> it's not being discussed. >> what is your thinking on how quickly ukraine and the rest of the world have to act?
>> obviously, the crucial date is the referendum. i'm convinced that the referendum's results are very easy to predict. remembering the armed threat that exists there. >> and what you're saying is that after that referendum, the russians will annex crimea. >> if russia is not stopped it will go as far as it can.
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