Chargé d’Affairs of Ukrainian Embassy in Cairo to Al-Bawaba News... Ukrainian forces repel Russian advance towards Kyiv
· We asked to join the European Union, not NATO.. There is a difference between the two blocks
· The Russian government deceived its people before the world
· The Ukrainian people received Russian troops with arms
· Russia invaded and annexed Crimea in 2014
· Waiting for the UN resolutions on March 2.
Russia-Ukraine war rages. Many parties, such as NATO, the United Nations, the European Union on one hand, and China, North Korea and a number of former Soviet Union countries on the other hand, make their condemnatory or solidarity statements.
Negotiations did not result in anything started on the Belarusian border. The world is holding its breath after Putin's statements that the nuclear readiness has been raised. On our part, we have to clarify the views of all parties.
After our interview with the Russian ambassador in Egypt, we interviewed the Ukrainian Chargé d'Affairs... We asked him, what if Kyiv was occupied. What is the reality of his country's situation in the war? And his country's requests from the international community... The full text of the interview...
What is the Latest updates while battles rage in Ukraine?
A real war against Ukraine is being waged by Russia. A military operation in which Ukrainian cities are occupied. There is a deployment of Russian troops, tanks, aircraft, missiles and artillery. Violent and severe attack.
Does Ukraine receive support and aid, and how does humanitarian aid arrive?
Ukraine faces an alarming Situation, Russia started the war by launching missiles against military points, but at the present time, defenseless populations are being attacked and targeted. In the twenty-first century, with the help of technology and social media platforms, the whole world knows what is happening in Ukrainian cities...
The Russian ambassador said about the footage spread on social media platforms that it is false propaganda... What is the truth?
It's war, that's the truth. What is the public opinion of the invasion of a country to its neighbor? In the war, no one can differentiate between military and civilian installations. Knowing that the attack is not only with a gun, but with tanks and missiles. Rockets and tanks do not distinguish between one building and another. We are facing a real war. This is not a limited military operation. It is an all-out war.
As for the humanitarian situation, it is very deteriorating, and the Ukrainian authorities are asking for support from the international community, we have also asked the Egyptian government to provide support and humanitarian and medical aid. Ukrainian diplomacy is also focused on the emergency session of the United Nations General Assembly on March 2. We appreciate Egypt's efforts in the event of supporting the resolution of the emergency UN session.
To what extent did the negotiations on the Belarusian borders provide solutions to end the crisis?
Indeed, there were intense negotiations between the two sides that ended an hour before the interview took place, and there are no details, but I know that those negotiations will bear fruit if the Russian forces withdraw from the Ukrainian lands.
What is the situation of Kyiv and what is the next step if it is occupied?
As a diplomat, these matters do not concern me. It is the role of the military. All I can confirm is that the Ukrainian army is defending its homeland and its capital. Not only the army but also the Ukrainian citizens of the whole country are defending their homeland.
A video spread of Ukrainians speaking with Russian forces with courage and love for their country. There is a Russian propaganda that promoted that the Ukrainian people welcome the forces of the Russian army, but this is false propaganda. The Russian army is an enemy of the Ukrainian people, and the people will not welcome occupation and invasion.
Your comment on the Russian ambassador's claim that Ukraine is receiving instructions from Washington?
The Russian ambassador prefers that Ukraine take instructions from Moscow. In fact, we do not receive instructions from Moscow or Washington. Ukraine is an independent country and the Soviet Union collapsed and disintegrated 30 years ago. Russia started the war in 2014 and seized the Crimea and this is the second stage, but today we are stronger than before and we will stand firm.
Did Ukraine persecute the citizens of Russian origin in the Donbas region? Did you start this war 8 years ago?
It was Russia that started that war against the Ukrainian people. My wife is from Donetsk region and her parents were in Nebras, 6 km from Donetsk, and they all spoke Russo, and there was no pressure on anyone of Russian ethnicity or those who spoke Russo. As I said, this is false propaganda. They feel the danger of Ukraine joining NATO, and these are flimsy arguments. In 2014, Ukraine was a neutral country, and there were no talks about NATO, but they occupied Crimea.
You do not hide your desire to join NATO?
We want to join the European Union, which is different from NATO. We seek the umbrella of the union that brings together economic and democratic values. There is no danger to Russia in terms of economic and democratic values, and we, as an independent country, have the right to choose which bloc to join, and we chose the European Union in 2014. We were about to sign a free contact agreement with Europe. Russia responded by occupying the Crimea, and the forces entered the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
Russia justifies the war by protecting its national security. By joining NATO, can American ballistic missiles reach Moscow within five minutes?
Moscow could have avoided war with an agreement determined by military experts. What is the difference regarding distance between NATO member states and Baltic Sea countries like Lithuania, Estonia and Poland. As I mentioned in 2014, Ukraine was a neutral country, and its neutrality did not intercede for it, but Russia occupied Crimea, and this is a reason that makes us think about NATO.
Opening the door for foreign forces to support you against the Russian invasion contradicts your statements about the steadfastness of the Ukrainian army?
If you look at the map, you will realize the size of Russia and Ukraine.. The statistics of arming and equipping the Russian army and its Ukrainian counterpart, unfortunately, are in favor of Moscow. We want help from our true partners and friends to defend our homeland, and this is logical. The opposite is completely illogical.
What looms over Ukrainian society, will Ukraine remain a cohesive state?
We have many minorities but without problems. The citizens of Ukraine follow different religions, we even have a Muslim majority in the occupied Crimea. Generally in Ukraine there are no problems with religion or racism. We are affiliated with the European Union and adopt democratic values, unlike Russia, which occupied our lands and pressures Muslims.
Demonstrations in France and Germany in support of Ukraine, is this European support enough?
This is important, but in this case we need real support from our European partners. We want military support and weapons, we want diplomatic support and resolutions within the United Nations. Ukraine is living in an exceptional situation, and if things continue in this situation, the consequences will be dire for all countries and for Egypt as well.
How will the war affect Egypt?
Before the war, Egypt and Ukraine had deep relations in the field of food security, as they imported wheat, corn and sunflower oil.
At the present time, the Black Sea region has become fatal for ships, and this leads to raising prices. Today's wheat prices rose from 400 dollars per ton to 450 dollars, and before that it was 230 dollars. They also increased ship insurance fees. In addition to the impact on the field of tourism, in 2021 the number of Ukrainian tourists to Egypt increased by 1.3 million, but now there is no air connection. On the other hand, Russia is also under economic sanctions, and there will be no Russian tourist flow to Egypt.. All of this is harmful to Egypt economically.
There are reports that the damage rate to the Russian economy will not exceed 5% if it is expelled from the Swift system?
We will see this in the coming days. Yesterday, the financial markets closed with a loss of 50%, and this is after only one or two days of imposing sanctions..
Can Russia prevent the flow of arms to Ukraine?
Putin is not the owner of the world, and our Ukrainian army has modern and advanced weapons. I cannot find a way through which Russia can prevent the flow of weapons to Ukraine.
Thousands of displaced Ukrainians go to Eastern European countries?
We are normal in wars, and this is evidence that we are in a real state of war, and we call on our partners to support democratic values and take a decision against the Russian aggression on an independent country.
We thank the Egyptian government for the support it provided to the Ukrainians in Egypt, and we welcome Egypt's condemnation of Russian terrorism against Ukraine and its support against the invasion.