Verbatim transcript of live RT interview broadcast at 15:07GMT, June 4, 2014
RT: We now hear on America’s aid offer to Ukraine from Srdja Trifkovic, Foreign Affairs Editor of Chronicles magazine, talking to us here on RT International. America is ready to pour millions into the Ukrainian military because the Ukrainian army is in a sorry state, so to speak – and, on the other hand, why shouldn’t it take help, where it can?
Trifkovic: First of all, there is less than meets the eye – because there is no commitment to supply the so-called lethal aid. In other words, when Obama mentions some night goggles and the like, and the training, he is obviously reluctant to go all the way and supply the Ukrainian military with heavy weaponry and the kind of equipment that would seriously tip the balance in the East. Having said that, I would also expect Poroshenko to effectively get his instructions on what to do and how to proceed. You see, everybody talks about the Ukrainian president-elect as if he were a decision-maker in his own right. That is really not the case, because after the CIA Director’s, and then the U.S. Vice President’s visit to Kiev, and subsequent strategizing with the FBI and CIA advisors in the Ukrainian capital, really we are looking at a regime which gets is marching orders from across the ocean. Obama may pretend to listen to Poroshenko and to support his program for ending the insurgency in the East, but effectively what we are looking at is a contest of wills between Washington and Moscow. In that respect, I really think it is time for Russia to impose a no-fly zone.
RT: On the one hand, yes, you said that the U.S. praised Kiev and its leader for what they are doing, but then again, we have the situation here where America is aiding Ukrainian military. If America starts sending military gear to the army, what about Moscow’s reaction – might it not start aiding ethnic Russians in the east of Ukraine? How do you see it?
Trifkovic: I don’t think that Russia should get directly involved, because that is exactly what some strategists in Washington would like to happen. In that case, they would exert pressure on the so-called Old Europe to remove its objections to the imposition of serious sanctions against Russia, and Germany in particular has been reluctant to take that path. I think that Vladimir Putin is wise not to allow himself not to be provoked into overt reaction. Nevertheless, it does not mean he should allow the humanitarian catastrophe to continue developing; because if a regime sinks so low as to start using air strikes and massive artillery barrages against civilian targets and hospitals, then I think it’s time for the Kremlin to invoke the so-called Responsibility-to-Protect doctrine, which Washington...
RT: Speaking of civilian targets, and you’ve just mentioned hospitals and other civilian objects, we are not getting any reaction from the West, from the Western media. Why do you think that is so?
Trifkovic: Because of the chronic hypocrisy, which we have seen time and over again. When Bashar al-Assad does X, it is a war crime and there should be a military intervention to protect “poor civilians”;but when Poroshenko – or someone else approved by Washington – does the same thing, then of course it is a legitimate action against “terrorists.” It is because the Western elites function on the basis of situational morality. Just like in Lenin’s bolshevism, an act is not judged on its own merits, but in terms of the ideological position of the actor in their own ideological scale of values.
RT: Mr. Trifkovic, I would like to thank you very much for talking to us, we are running out of time unfortunately. That was Srdja Trifkovic, Foreign Affairs Editor at Chronicles magazine.