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Former President Kuchma: We Can Lose EU As A Partner

Former President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma (1994-2004) participated today, Dec 20 in the 2nd round of the negotiations panel to solve the political crisis in Ukraine which has been started after the present President Victor Yanukovych refused to sign an Association Agreement with the EU in November. Despite his yesterday’s reminder and invitation, Yanukovych didn’t join this round table talks. The opposition leaders didn’t participate in the panel as well.

Below are the key today’s quotes by Leonid Kuchma from his interview to Ukrainian press:

On Putin, Russian Gas & Loan

Putin was never engaged in charity, so he did it [gas price discount & huge loan to Ukraine] on purpose… If we look into numbers, I am for it [$15 bln loan]. Because when I heard statements of Azarov [Prime Minister of Ukraine] and numbers he stated – I felt bad. Today they [Russia] threw a life jacket to us, but we have to pay our debts anyways. It’s bad that we collect debts for future generations, and are happy with it. If it [loans] would be to develop economy, I would be actively for it. But when it is to spend for food, then it’s not good,” said Leonid Kuchma.

On the EU

“The EU still sends positive signals, its doors are open… However, we can lose such a partner as the European Union. It can start considering us [Ukraine] as an unreliable state, which can jump off the train,” said Kuchma.

On Political Responsibility For Ukraine’s Officials

“There should be political responsibility. What is it – you perfectly know [meaning resignations of officials for brutal riot police attacks on peaceful EuroMaidan protesters]. I don’t even mention the necessity of legal responsibility for those who are responsible for beating students on Maidan [Independence Square in Kyiv]. And the limits of responsibility we should assess and establish together [during negotiations]. We can’t simply stay blind regarding developments in Ukraine,” said former Ukraine’s President.

Written by Viktor Kovalenko for EuroMaidan Translations project.

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