Today Minsk holds a regular meeting in the framework of conflict settlement in the Donbas region. How do you assess the implementation of the Minsk agreements?
Shtetina: I think they are already dead, since it is impossible to rely on partners, i.e. the representatives of the Russian Federation. I recall the well-known expression, that the price of any contract signed with Russia, exhausted by the paper on which it is signed, only. This applies to the Minsk contracts.
Nevertheless, this process is going on. How it is going? There were certain times of the cease-fire, now there is an escalation of the conflict in the Donbas. How do you estimate such a passage of events?
This is rather natural passage of events, taking into account all the events that are taking place in Europe now, because these terrorist activities in Europe, in Paris, for example, they pushed the interest away from Ukraine. Because of that there was an opportunity for the separatists and Russian forces to use this time for attacks, and they broke the Minsk agreement again.
Do you think that the West is ready for escalation of the conflict in the Donbas?
I do not think that now it is the main subject. I would recall that there are about 2 million of temporary displaced people who navigate within their own country, and we can expect that this wave that came through the Balkans and Syria, could move once more and as well as from Ukraine. Therefore, we must help Ukraine not only with sanctions. We must help Ukraine in this fight, not only with a regular army, but also with volunteers who defend their homeland and die. And here I support the idea, and the president of Poroshenko demands this, the supply of arms and ammunition. I support the direct military sustention in this fight.
Do your colleagues provide you with support in this initiative?
At first, when I talked about this, I saw the disbelief. I think that we are somehow divided into camps. There are old representatives of the EU and we - the members of the former Soviet bloc, that have another historical memory, which the Ukrainians have. So they rebelled, so the whole Ukrainian revolution started.
There is now a movement, even in the European Parliament of holding a conference to improve relations with Russia, initiated by the socialists and democrats. In such a context, do you think that there might be a cancellation or some reduction of sanctions pressure on Russia?
I think that there has not sounded such a requirement to reduce sanctions. But the calls for cooperation with Russia on the matter of terrorism sounded. For example, cooperation in Syria. But I think that it is impossible to work with dictators, it will never lead to something good. The cooperation with Russia, in my opinion, is impossible.