European leaders should be “ashamed”

“Let me tell you how I felt when I heard EU leaders announce their sanctions: you should be ashamed for the rest of your lives for leaving us alone at this time to face the crisis. ‘Russian aggression,’ Ukraine’s former ambassador to the EU, Kostiantyn Yelisieiev, told EUobserver from Kyiv on Friday morning (February 25).

“Yesterday I evacuated my family from the city and if anything were to happen to them you should be ashamed for the rest of your life,” he added, expressing raw emotion.

The 51-year-old, a Russian-speaker from the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, is personally known to many in Brussels from his time here between 2010 and 2015, when he brokered a landmark free trade treaty and faced the annexation of Crimea by Russia. in 2014.

He then served as an assistant to former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko before setting up a think tank in kyiv.

But now, having brought his family out of town, Yelisieiev has armed himself with a Kalashnikov rifle, and he remains in kyiv to prepare for armed resistance against Russian paratroopers.

“I’m on the list. Poroshenko is on the list,” he said, referring to US warnings that Russian forces planned to kill or detain people on pre-established lists of pro-Western sympathizers if they conquered the capital.

“Maybe tomorrow I won’t be able to talk to you anymore, that’s why I have to get this message across today,” Yelisieiev said, speaking by phone from the downtown Podil neighborhood.

“And write this in red ink: you will be next,” he warned European leaders.

“The next ones will be the Baltic states and then the Warsaw Pact countries, because that’s how Putin imagined the restoration of the Soviet empire. Even the streets of Dresden [in the former German Democratic Republic]where Putin worked in the KGB [Soviet-era intelligence service] officer, are not safe,” Yelisieiev said.

Russian ground forces were beginning to besiege “the gates of kyiv” on Friday morning, according to Yelisieiev.

Russian missiles also hit residential buildings overnight, Ukrainian foreign minister says Dmytro Kuleba tweeted at 4:57 a.m. local time.

“Horrible Russian rocket fire on kyiv. The last time our capital saw something like this was in 1941 when it was attacked by Nazi Germany,” he wrote. “Isolate Russia. Cut all ties. Expel Russia from everywhere,” Kuleba wrote from Kyiv.

Earlier on Friday, EU leaders agreed to additional sanctions on Russian banks and oil refineries, but withheld tougher measures, apparently to keep some in reserve to counter further escalation by Russia .

NATO leaders will also host an emergency video summit later today.

Yelisieiev didn’t call on NATO to fight Russia – but he said Atlantic Alliance members should pour in arms to help Ukrainians defend themselves and throw everything they had at Putin to financially harm in the Kremlin.

belgian beer

They should ban Russia’s SWIFT, an international banking payment system, and stop buying Russian oil and gas, Yelisieiev said. EU and NATO countries should also seize Russian ships and commercial planes in their ports and airports and ban Russian aviation from their airspace, he added.

“You chose to protect your luxury lifestyle, eating Belgian chocolates and drinking Belgian beer. You chose economic well-being over the protection of human lives,” Yelisieiev said.

“I’m speaking to EU leaders because I hope normal people in Europe don’t feel the same way. I hope people in Europe will take to the streets to show what they think about this war,” he said.

“Our [Ukrainian people’s] the only crime was that we wanted to get closer to Europe”, added the former diplomat, looking back on the course of events since the fall of the USSR in 1991 and the two pro-Western revolutions in kyiv in recent years.

Comments are closed.