Ukrainian authorities do not think about the next steps, but about today's benefit

Author : Natalia Vlashchenko

Respondent : Bohdan Yaremenko

Source :

Today our guest is Ukrainian diplomat, former Consul General of Ukraine in Edinburgh, chairman of the "Maidan of Foreign Affairs" charity fund Bohdan Yaremenko
22:03, 3 October 2016

Read the original text at

112 Agency

- Good evening. Why do people say that the Ukrainian foreign policy is a failure? What we have not done yet?

It is unreformed, as well as other spheres of public life. There are no values in it. The lack of values, of understanding of how we assess the outside world, made us a weather vane. For example, we could sell arms to anyone. Values, if they are included in the foreign policy, do not allow doing so. Authorities create some forms of agencies, which should give permission; there appears a system of evaluation on this issue - to give or not to give permission for sale.  So - the lack of values, criteria for assessing the foreign policy concept. And then, of course, no ideas. Interests are not formed, as in many areas there is no domestic consensus in Ukraine.  There are no programs regarding development, economic vision. Because of this, there is no understanding of how to provide all this on external scene. We do not set the tasks in the field of the foreign policy. There are institutions that have to do it, the president, for example, but it is done in a manner that does not provide implementation. No ideas, no principles, values, and there is no finance to implement the projects.

- If we are at war, but continue trading, and there is the occupation of our territory, why there’s no claim that this is a war, not the ATO?

It all depends on what we are defending. If we protect the sovereignty, territorial integrity, the right to choose, we declare war, we come out openly. Enter the legal situation in a state of war. If we protect our economic interests, or the trade with the Russian Federation, including not only its commercial interests, but also interests of the EU, - we should not make the extreme steps that would, of course, lead to the rupture of these economic relations. Our people went out on revolution of dignity, paid with their lives, then were mired in a war with Russia, and began to defend the country. And Ukrainian government decided to negotiate. Therefore, there will not be an official war, but just the ATO, because within it is not necessary to sever relations. Although it has long been evident that ATO couldn’t continue for 2.5 years. It is obvious that the Ukrainian government is protecting its economic interests, dividends, not the principles on which the government should be organized, and which would provide some future to Ukrainian people.

Related: IMF publishes memorandum with Ukraine

- What shall we do if Europe refuses to continue to help us?

In fact the Ukrainian government has already agreed on some options, and therefore the war goes on. Our authorities agreed on the supply of coal, on the reverse supply of products. Even the law was signed by President on the free economic zone in Crimea. We agreed on electricity supplies to the Crimea, agreed on everything, and the war absolutely does not prevent the Ukrainian government, political circles to negotiate with the Russian Federation. The authorities do not think about the next steps, but about today's benefit.

- How real is an opportunity for us to get a visa-free regime?

A diplomat should have answered that this decision is in the hands of the European Commission. We received a number of prerequisites with which we agreed. We did it and the European Commission recognized that Ukraine has fulfilled its obligations. If the president would have been frank, he would have had to say that the overall situation for the decision of the EU for Ukraine is very unfavorable. It is linked to emigration crisis within the EU. So there is too unfavorable political atmosphere today, in the EU, to resolve this issue.

- What the most difficult challenges will soon appear in the world and in Ukraine?

The situation is vague and not very fortunate. A wave of terrorism started and terrorism now is even more radical than it was. It becomes cruel, rude; defending against it is very difficult. Given that the problems of wealth allocation unevenness are accumulating in the world, it is evident that it will continue. Nobody sees effective ways of overcoming these painful wounds on the body of the planet as Syria, Iraq, etc. It is obvious that this zone of instability will grow, because the guys from ISIS, will be dispersed from Syria, and they will return to their homes.

Related: Council of Europe intends to support reforms in Ukraine

- How do you see the future of national states?

In our generation, our children and grandchildren, nation states will not disappear and will be the main tool for organizing social processes. Actually there is such a concept - the erosion of power. Power fades in the modern world, and carriers of force disappear. You receive plenty of small players, not corporations, who can rouse the world. Technologies are moving us towards the establishment of an independent person, independent local community.

In 1993, Bohdan Yaremenko held the position in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office of Ukraine.

In 1995-1999 he stayed on as vice-consul, consul of the Consulate General of Ukraine in New York (USA). Later he became the head of the United States and Canada Department, Fourth Territorial Department Director (Western Hemisphere), of MFA of Ukraine.

Later, until 2006, he organized the international activities of government leaders, as well as their working trips to Ukraine.

Until 2008 Bohdan Yaremenko has worked as Consul General of Ukraine in Edinburgh (United Kingdom).

Since 2014 - chairman of the board of charity fund "Maidan of Foreign Affairs"

Related: Ukraine's Parliament has to urge Netherlands to ratify AA with EU

Related: The impossible is possible: EU granted trade concessions to Ukraine


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