Russia wants to restore the empire by entangling Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Patriarch Filaret told The Ukrainian Week Dec. 27.
“What are the benefits for Ukraine from joining Europe? First of all, Europe will preserve Ukraine’s statehood and sovereignty. If Ukraine joins the Customs Union it will lose them. Russia is empire-minded and wants to restore the empire by entangling Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Armenia,” he said.
This is not to say Russians are our enemies. There are many links uniting us but we want to be independent and integrate in better, not worse, societies, he said.
“In 2014, the largest threat for Ukraine will be integration in the Customs Union. How to stop this from happening? The protesters on Maidan must continue to stand till the end. The people will win. If the nation is against something it cannot be cowed by force.
There are Ukrainians willing to join Russia. However, the majority in the West and East want to integrate in the EU. That is why we will win,” the patriarch said.