Europe

Ukraine will not remain unified: Czech ex-president

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Former Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, has said he doesn’t believe Ukraine will remain an integral country as Kiev pushes ahead with its military operations in the restive eastern regions.

Klaus made the remarks in an interview with Austrian newspaper Tiroler Tageszeitung published on Sunday.

The former president (pictured below) added that he does not see an end to the crisis in Ukraine’s restive eastern regions, where government troops have been fighting pro-Russian forces since last April when Kiev launched a military operation to silence protests there.

Klaus accused Kiev authorities of not striving for a peaceful solution to resolve the conflict in Ukraine’s eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, as they have not initiated any essential talks.

The ex-Czech leader said that after all the thousands of dead and all the destruction, “I cannot imagine that the original Ukraine can live together in the future.”

In addition, Klaus accused the US and European governments of having instigated the Ukrainian crisis at the end of 2013, with Washington’s funding through non-governmental organizations (NGOs) of the pro-EU protests in Ukraine.

Furthermore, the former Czech president rejected claims that Moscow is behind the conflict, saying the pressure came from the West. Klaus added that “From this point of view, Russia is not guilty. Russian actions were, in my opinion, a reaction, a forced move.”

A political crisis erupted in Ukraine in November 2013 when the country’s then President Viktor Yanukovych refrained from signing an Association Agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Moscow.

The move sparked pro-EU protests, with its center in Kiev’s Maidan Square, and in February 2014, Ukraine’s then-president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted by Western-backed groups. The ouster triggered in its turn pro-Russian protests in the country’s southern and eastern regions.

In a bid to crush the pro-Russian protests, Kiev launched military operation in mid-April last year causing deadly clashes in the country’s two mainly Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine.

Violence intensified last May after the two flashpoint regions held local referendums in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine. The votes came just two months after the country’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea voted in a referendum to breakvaway and rejoin the Russian Federation.

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