Savchenko case distracts people's attention from corruption, collapse of national security and economic system

Author : Olesia Batsman

Respondent : Valentyn Nalyvaichenko

Source : 112 Ukraine

Ex-head of the Security Service Valentyn Nalyvaichenko in an interview tells about the support the US gives to Ukraine, the punishment of those guilty of MH17 tragedy, and also about his own political ambitions
22:30, 27 March 2018

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112 Agency

Batsman: The Batsman show is on air. Good evening, Mr. Nalyvaichenko. About two years ago, on March 22, 2016, a Russian court sentenced Nadiya Savchenko to 22 years in a Russian prison. And on March 22, 2018, the Ukrainian Parliament gave permission for her detention in a Ukrainian prison. Then Savchenko was liberated from the Russian prison with the help of Ukraine. Who will help her now?

Nalyvaichenko: Both the decision of the Russian court and the abduction of the Ukrainian citizen Nadiya Savchenko were absolutely illegal acts within the framework of the aggressive war against Ukraine. Therefore, we fought and gave two detained Russian military for her. That is, the whole Ukraine united to ensure that, among other things, the Ukrainian Nadiya Savchenko to be returned from the Russian bunker. And we won. But what happens today? The first and most important thing is the legal position. In Ukraine, there must be a law, and by law – the evidence in court. The involved figurants should be in the court. The investigation there provides evidence, the defendant must present his arguments there or answer the questions of the investigation. I ask the key question - where is the law in this matter? I saw everything, like all citizens of Ukraine - the frightened Poroshenko, inadequate comments of the Prosecutor General. I see how common people are afraid in general of the situation when they are intimidated by grenade launchers, mortars, and grenades. But as a professional, I clearly know what needs to be done in accordance with the law. The special services should not shoot the video - they had to stop even during the first deliveries of weapons of the so-called military, who were involved in collusion, to arrest them and to withdraw weapons. The most important thing in the work of law enforcement bodies and the president, among other things, is the security of citizens. And when the information sounds that the weapons are being delivered from temporarily occupied territory, they are delivered from the occupier - this is a crime. And so I am convinced that there should be an open court, evidence must be submitted. And most importantly - where are the other figurants? Name at least the organizer from the Russian side whoever he is. As we did, when a terrorist attack against a Malaysian Boeing in July 2014 was investigated within 24 hours. We also within a day named the commander-in-chief, and where that "Buk" came from, and the Russian military crew. But returning to the case of Nadiya Savchenko, the law must act, evidence must be presented and those involved in this case should be in the court. Why is the Ukrainian government afraid to go further? If there are organizers - detain them, they should not be just stripped of their immunity. The second is the admissibility of evidence in this case. Not a provocation, but clear, documented, in accordance with the Ukrainian law.

- This video, which Lutsenko showed in the parliament, is not evidence in court?

- If it is made public, if it is received, when immunity from a people's deputy has not yet been removed, then the admissibility of these proofs is zero. But the most important thing is that now an open court is held and all the defendants appeared - it's time for everyone to respond. Those who pretended that they are involved in this transaction, and then allegedly informed prosecutors or special services - they also have to answer, because at some stage they were figurants of this case. The law must act.

- You saw this video, probably, like the whole country. What struck you the most?

- I was amazed only by one thing. That in fact there is a provocation, and on both sides. And most importantly - what does this prove, apart from the conversation, absolutely unjust, and on the one hand, and on the other? Does this prove that both violate the law? So both should go to the court.

- And what is the role of Zakharchenko in all this, do you think?

- His role is only one - he is a collaborator, an accomplice in aggressive crimes, an aggressive war against Ukraine. And this particular episode, if he is there, does not in any way cancel his main guilt: he will be responsible for war crimes against Ukrainians and against Ukraine - for illegal shootings, mass mockeries and torture of Ukrainian citizens, whom they grabbed and still held in hostage, for many other crimes. This component, if there is a documented Zakharchenko’s presence, should be transferred to the first case, where he is the main suspect, - war crimes against his own state. There must be a law, not speculation from all sides. For this, there is a clearly defined procedure for special services, for investigators in the legislation of Ukraine. Why are you showing a movie, if there is still no trial and immunity is not removed? There must be a legal course of action - in the interests of the protection and security of a citizen. And there cannot be other interests. There can be no agent's interests: defended citizens of Ukraine - this is the criterion for successful work. They provoked, told tales, shot a video - these are absolute tracing papers from the methods of work of the KGB and the FSB. What does this give for the security of a particular citizen who is watching us now?

- Some say that this Savchenko's show was created in order to bring down Tymoshenko's rating, which is growing. Others say that it is a multi-step strategy, when the ultimate goal is to introduce martial law and to postpone or cancel these elections. What do you think this is all about?

- I think - and this is my main position - this is all in order to divert people's attention from really terrible corruption and the collapse of the system of national security and economy. In fact, almost everything that is so important for the life of a common citizen. To divert attention from politicians responsible for squandering and plundering the country.

- You said that you gave the Americans a lot of information: you were in America and met there with many powerful people. What is the reaction, and what is being said?

- Two days in Washington - I worked in the Senate and the House of Representatives. I met with people who make serious decisions there, know the situation in Ukraine and deal with it, especially with those Republicans and Democrats who support us in the fight against Russian aggression. These are the people to whom I provided evidence in 2015 and which, among other things, are behind the decision to give Ukraine weapons at last. For example, the deputy head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives, a serious congressman Rooney. There was a long talk, and the most important part, which concerned Ukraine, was connected with the fight against corruption. I asked him to keep this evidence, which was transferred, about the offshore, the billions stolen by current officials from Ukraine and conduct an investigation. Because the government will be changed for a year in Ukraine, and this time we are determined that no one should run away to Russia with money like Yanukovych and his entourage have stolen from Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Austria and other countries. The only thing I asked for - and received full assurance and full support - is that this time the evidence will not be lost. And not only evidence, but real offshore campaigns, real accounts and real beneficiaries that stand behind these accounts. The second request was that the political position of the new Trump administration should still be a direct requirement for the Ukrainian president: Ukraine must join all civilized countries that have enacted legislation that prohibits the use of off-shores where it is forbidden to hide the ultimate owner of offshore companies. It is time for the international community to help citizens of Ukraine. Poor state and the withdrawal of money in offshore – these are the main problems and the internal enemies of every citizen. And the support from the House of Representatives is complete and peremptory. In the Senate there were other meetings - there was a more serious conversation with the leaders of the committees that are responsible for security. In particular, with Senator Richard Burr, we talked about a serious content plan, how it is possible and necessary to continue the real and meaningful integration of Ukraine into NATO. Full support from the American side was obtained - Ukrainian national security and the protection of our territory and our citizens directly depend on a truly step-by-step joining of the collective security system.

- Did you go to America to be supported as a presidential candidate? Have you agreed?

- I spoke and stressed - we need the support of the entire state in the fight against Russia's aggression and in the fight against corruption. Nothing else really interests me, or those real, sincere friends of our country, and not only in America. On the way, returning, I met some European leaders. The Chancellor of Austria is a young modern politician who always defended Ukraine's interests in the OSCE, always listened, at least to what I could say. And with him I had a serious conversation. And serious support, and most importantly - a vision of how to proceed, how to live further in Ukraine. How to get out of the situation when internal corruption eats up our opportunities, and the external aggressor is still in our territory. How we can and should have a real plan, and not some Minsk agreements.

- Today, a very important event happened in the Netherlands. Tell us about it.

- Indeed, in the Netherlands, the Ministry of Justice submitted a bill to the parliament to open and create a special court in The Hague to punish all those involved and guilty of the crime of committing a terrorist attack in the Ukrainian sky in July 2014. When the Malaysian Boeing was shot down by the Russian military crew and 298 people were killed. For me, this is of particular importance. In particular, at the conference in New York I spoke to the whole world including about this crime. From Australian television to the New York media, all this has been shown. I believe that this is a very serious decision of the Dutch government, and I hope that the Dutch parliament will adopt this bill, and finally a special tribunal will be created to investigate and punish Russian military terrorists who shot down an innocent Malaysian passenger plane in our skies. But I was convinced and is still convinced that there must be a court in Ukraine too. And in the Ukrainian court it's time to name all involved. We, too, must punish all those responsible for this terrorist attack.

- Your plan is: 200 billion USD compensation from Russia, returning of Crimea, withdrawal of military and equipment from Donbas, and the war will end. But with whom should this be discussed and how can the Russian government be compelled to do this? Now, what would you do?

- I discussed this last week in the Congress and in the US Senate with people who are really making decisions. I gave them a clear vision of how to support us so that we could protect our territory. The first and most important thing is to continue to help the Ukrainian army with defensive weapons, training, and communication facilities. With all, which simultaneously increases our security, and brings the level of standards closer to NATO.

- But this will not stop Putin, this will not force him to pay 200 billion.

- There must be a rigid position of the Ukrainian authorities, daily position. It's not just figures, it's not just playing them on the show - with this you have to defend every name, every person, every Ukrainian family legally. The third block is humanitarian. The Red Cross is already working, but this is not enough. Ukrainian humanitarian organizations and other international organizations should be included in order to return Ukrainian power both in the liberated territories and temporarily occupied by such activities. To show citizens under occupation that we, unlike the aggressor, do not want a war, a death, but a normal life.

- And now who is engaged in humanitarian activities in the occupied territories?

- As far as I know, only the Red Cross - from international organizations.

-And from private ones?

- The provisional administrations of the occupied territories in every way prevent others to do this, but now I cannot have all the information.

- At the last press conference, Petro Poroshenko said a very unexpected thing. He voiced the fact that he did not introduce Victor Medvedchuk to the Minsk negotiating group on prisoners, and you did it.

- This was the decision of President Poroshenko. He instructed me to introduce Viktor Medvedchuk into a group that was supposed to facilitate the release of the hostages. It was exactly his assignment, just like my execution.

- Why did he say that it was your idea?

- I do not know why. I sworn testimony about this episode under oath. Today I can say that if the Ukrainian investigation is interested in the real role of Victor Medvedchuk and other people whom President Poroshenko attracted to work with the Russian side, then they can and should ask him directly.

 - Media say you recently met with Mikheil Saakashvili. Is it true? And what did you discuss?

- True. We met one day, in Amsterdam. We discussed how serious the situation is now, after illegal actions to deprive him of his citizenship, after the illegal actions of Poroshenko's private security, when it has thrown him away from the country, under the guise of so-called readmission, and what we will do next.

- When will he return?

- I think not right now. We'll see. The political situation, I am sure, will develop very rapidly.

- I am very grateful to you.

- Thank you.

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