One can’t speak of any “normalization” or “improvement” of Ukraine-Russia relations over the past year, because what happened, in fact, was the surrender of Ukrainian national interests, the head of the People’s Movement of Ukraine, Rukh, and ex-Foreign Minister Borys Tarasiuk, said speaking on Echo of Moscow Radio, the Rukh press service Feb. 5 report runs.
“True, at first sight, one can say the relations have improved [after Yanukovych came to power – Ed.]. The big question, however, is why the relations had worsened [before Yanukovych came to power – Ed.] The then Ukrainian regime was not to blame for the deterioration of links between Ukraine and Russia. They became tense because Russia leadership was wary of a democratic Ukraine and its leaders. As regards the present so-called normalization and improvement of the relations, I wouldn’t call it normalization and improvement because what had happened was the sell-out to Russia of Ukraine’s national interests,” Tarasiuk said.
Asked by the anchor if the erection of monuments to Hetman Mazepa, Stepan Bandera and commemoration of battles like the battle of Konotop [where Ukrainians fought Russians – Ed.], Borys Tarasiuk said: “We do not impose on Russia how to interpret its own history. Why did Russia try and continues to try to impose on us the use of the Russian language? Why do Russians want to make us forget our own history and our heroes? Ukrainians must know their history and live accordingly, instead of living by the stereotypes spun by tsarist and Soviet ideologists.”