KIEV, June 22. /TASS/. KIEV, June 22. /TASS/. Europe has brought Ukraine to its knees, and the country should not count on any help from it, ex-Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma said, speaking at the international forum dubbed "The dawn of Europe: conformity to the laws of history in civilized advancement."
"We rejoice at our free choice, Europe, and trade with it (the EU), but what do we sell to it - nothing but wheat and honey, and quotas are very stringent," he stressed.
"We have used up our quota for the first quarter, so now the Europeans are bringing us to our knees, telling us to chop wood and bring it to them. Where is their help to Ukraine? Once we are poverty-stricken, who’ll need us?"
Kuchma also stated that everyone in Europe had already forgotten about Ukraine. "Look at the European mass media, nobody mentions anything about Ukraine there," he pointed out.
A budget that’s borrowed
All of this is happening, according to Kuchma, because the Verkhovna Rada and politicians are engaged "in the same quarrels and all are betting on Donbass."
"Why have we never been a state? Today many, even in Ukraine, consider us not a political object, but a political subject. War is raging in the country, and we have no consistency within the political elite, which does not exist as well," the ex-president acknowledged.
At the same time, he added, "the economy has been totally neglected." "We are falling apart, there are no advanced technology sectors left, no missile industries and no aviation," Kuchma noted.
The nation’s science faces a similar situation: "How is the academy of sciences financed? We are turning into a raw material colony. We have only chemical and agricultural industries left. Where are we going?" he lamented.
The ex-president called on Ukraine to start "dealing with its own problems." "Enough walking around the world with hat in hand, our budget is 70% credit-supported. Ukrainian debt is up to 70% today, and we take (money) from the International Monetary Fund and immediately pay them back, with interest," the former president concluded.