MOSCOW, September 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s future cooperation with Ukraine should rest on mutual benefit, Sergei Mironov, the leader of the A Just Russia party and the head of its faction in the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, told the Thursday issue of the Izvestia newspaper.
There is no need for Russia to foist its friendship and cooperation on Ukraine, since Russia in no way depends on its neighbor. “Our country has been subsidizing the economy of independent Ukraine for twenty-five years,” he said. “And we have seen it more than once that any Ukrainian government tends to taken this assistance for granted as something that does not require reciprocal steps.”
He said that a key condition for successful economic cooperation between Russia and Ukraine was to be the freedom of information, which was blatantly violated by the Ukrainian side. That is why, in his words, Kiev’s propaganda had managed to impose Russia’s image as an external enemy on some part of Ukrainian society.
“But even now, when a whole generation of Ukrainian citizens has been brought up in the spirit on unfriendly attitude towards Russia, our country must not respond in kind,” Mironov stressed. “We should be benevolent towards Ukraine, as we have always been. People should understand that the Ukrainian people is a victim of political fortune-seekers who will be fairly judged by history.”
Dwelling on a possibility to form a long-term strategy of relations with Kiev, he noted that a number of factors made it next to impossible to do it now. Thus, according to Mironov, it was difficult to predict trade relations with Ukraine due to dubious prospects of Kiev’s current course towards integration with the European Union. “But it wouldn’t be wrong to surmise that the Ukrainian policy of European integration is doomed to fail,” he said.
Earlier, on September 16, Mironov suggested the State Duma should meet for an extraordinary closed session to discuss the situation in Ukraine. Such session, he said, should be attended by Russian government members, including defence, foreign, interior and emergencies ministers, and heads of the Central Bank and the Federal Security Service.