Ukraine Y Russia they live “very complicated” moments, as admitted by the Ukrainian charge d’affaires in Argentina, Valerii Olefir. In this context, the diplomat did not spare words in criticizing Russia’s geopolitical ambitions at a global level, the “Hybrid warfare” which, according to him, the Kremlin maintains against Ukraine and warned about the possibility of giving up control of a possible nuclear power plant, as proposed by the Russian projects in Argentina.
// After the agreement for the Sputnik V vaccines, Russia redoubles its plan to build nuclear power plants in Argentina
– How does Ukraine observe Argentina’s rapprochement with Russia?
– Argentina is the third country in the world that received the most Ukrainians, for us they are like brothers. But we feel sorry for actions that we consider destructive for the development of Argentina.
– What actions?
– Russia does not invest in the welfare of the other people, it invests in its own instruments of influence.
– As which?
– Geopolitical instruments.
– Are you saying that Russia would generate an instrument for its own benefit and not for Argentina?
– Yes Yes. That same.
– Do you see, for example, a political objective behind the distribution of the Sputnik V vaccine?
– Yes, definitely Sputnik is a political instrument. In terms of a pandemic, it is the number one instrument.
– Do you consider a threat to Ukrainian interests in the country that Russia proposes to build nuclear power plants?
– No, because our interests in the region are not directly touched. Yes, we can share with Argentina our highly visible experience with Chernobyl and the threats posed by a nuclear power plant.
– It seems distant, but it is a memory that remained present. Can you think of another Chernobyl?
– I don’t think so, it happened in a useless governance system of the Soviet Union. You just have to bear in mind that if you accept that type of risk in the territory threats must be controlled and anticipated that has. With the great nuclear advance that Argentina has, the country is able to control everything. It is important to control a resource that poses a potential threat.
– Would you then consider a danger that Argentina could not control a power plant built in the country?
– Yes, I would consider it that way.
– You already mentioned Sputnik, are there other intentions in the Kremlin’s economic and commercial decisions?
– Russia always uses all its resources as a geopolitical instrument. It has and continues to do so.
The growing tension in Crimea
The peninsula became the epicenter of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia since in March 2014 the Kremlin announced the accession of Crimea and Sevastopol. In all these years, clashes escalated in different cities, while in recent days the situation heated up again when the Russian navy fired at a British destroyer ship and Putin himself accused the United Kingdom and the United States of seeking a Russian military response in the waters of the Black Sea.
– In what state is the relationship between Ukraine and Russia today?
– The relations we currently have are very complicated in diplomatic terms. The Russian Federation is waging a hybrid war. The Republic of Crimea occupied us and the east of our country intervened with weapons.
– Russia justifies this intervention by saying that there was a referendum in Crimea …
– (Laughs) To maintain any type of action that claims to be legitimate, you have to respect the status quo of the territory. It was not a referendum initiated by the government or citizens, it was an occupation. Many years ago we had a Russian military base in the Black Sea region.
– After the last months of tensions, do you think that the conflict can escalate in the coming months?
– I hope it doesn’t happen, and I don’t think it will. Ukraine continues to seek a resolution to the conflict diplomatically, there is no way we will try to resolve it militarily
– How do you see, for example, the last incident between a British destroyer ship and Russian fleet?
– There are currently naval military exercises in the region. It causes a tension, where the Russians consider it a potential threat. Russia makes all kinds of provocations. The British destroyer was on its peaceful route to a Georgian port, entering only a few nautical miles.
– So you can’t keep climbing?
– I think there will be a limit. I don’t see the possibility of the Russians destroying any NATO ships.
– It would be counterproductive for Russia. Although they act as an aggressor, they do not seek a war. They prefer to play with relatively small players.
– What do you consider to be Russia’s main interests in the Crimean peninsula?
– Crimea became a military base, where with their missiles they can reach the entire European space. It is the closest point that the Russian missiles have. It went from being a paradise to a military base.
– What does Ukraine propose to defuse tensions and perhaps regain control of Crimea?
– On August 24 we will celebrate the anniversary of the independence of Ukraine. There we will have a very important event called “Crimean Platform”, where we will seek to absorb all the ideas to re-link and get out of the current situation we have with the occupied territories.
– What specifically do they propose?
– We are going to join forces at three levels: presidential, parliamentary and expert, think tanks.
– Did they summon the Argentine government?
– Yes, there was an invitation for the President and the Chancellor, and another for the first lady. In the last few days we had a response that due to the current conditions and the epidemiological situation, they will not participate in any of the cases.
– Then there will be no Argentine representation.
– Unfortunately I do not see it viable now.
– In this context, do you see a rapprochement between Russia and Ukraine possible?
– Yeah right. It must be resolved with the status quo of the States to start a dialogue and seek a way together.