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"What sparked the [Ukraine] crisis? Former President Viktor Yanukovych said that he needed to think about signing Ukraine's Association Agreement with the EU, possibly make some changes and hold consultations with Russia, Ukraine's major trade and economic partner. In this connection and under this pretext riots broke out in Kiev. They were actively supported by both our European and American partners.
"Then a coup d'etat followed -- a totally anti-constitutional act. ... The question is: what was the coup d'etat for? Why did they need to escalate the situation to a civil war? ... The result that we have -- a coup d'etat, a civil war, hundreds of lives lost, a devastated economy and social sphere, a four-year $17.5 billion loan promised to Ukraine by the IMF and complete disintegration of economic ties with Russia...
"I would like to tell you and your readers one thing. Last year, on Feb. 21, President Yanukovych and the Ukrainian opposition signed an agreement on how to proceed, how to organize political life in the country, and on the need to hold early elections.
"They should have worked to implement this agreement, especially since three European foreign ministers signed this agreement as guarantors of its implementation. If they were used merely for the sake of appearances ... they should have said [after the coup the next day], 'You know, we did not agree to a coup d'etat, so we will not support you; you should go and hold elections instead.'"
However, instead of upholding the Feb. 21, 2014 agreement, the EU -- under strong pressure from Nuland and the Obama administration -- hastened to recognize the "legitimacy" of the coup regime in Kiev. The Feb. 21 agreement was quickly forgotten and the new Ukrainian authorities, with Yatsenyuk elevated to prime minister and right-wing extremists given key ministries, moved to crack down on the ethnic Russians in the south and east, citizens who had been Yanukovych's political base and who resisted the unconstitutional coup.
Perhaps now is the time for Merkel and Hollande to remember that German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, in addition to Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, mediated the Feb. 21, 2014 agreement and signed it as official witnesses. An envoy from Russian President Putin, Vladimir Lukin, was also involved but did not sign as a witness.
There may be no such thing as a guilty conscience in high-stakes diplomacy. Still, what happened just one day before the Feb. 22 coup in Kiev is a matter of record.
Would it be too much to expect of Steinmeier and Fabius to remind their bosses of this shameless piece of failed diplomacy, before Merkel and Holland cave in once again to Washington's diktat -- and to the neocons who could then rush off to a Bavarian Beirgarten to celebrate the escalation of Cold War II?
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