In his opinion piece for the Polish ‘Gazeta Wyborcza’ newspaper, Petro Poroshenko responds to the latest claims by Russia’s president.
In July, Putin published an article ‘On the historical unity of Russians and Ukrainians’ arguing that Ukraine is a ‘child of the Soviet era’ and blaming Kyiv for a ‘civil war’ and ‘fratricide’ in Donbas.
According to Poroshenko, the key message of the article brings to light Russia’s non-recognition of Ukraine’s borders and disregard for the norms of international law.
‘They are preparing public opinion and the armed forces to continue the aggression against Ukraine’, the former president wrote.
Poroshenko believes Putin’s article aims at legitimize Russia’s imperial claims and encouraging the ‘fifth column’ in Ukraine.
He is also convinced that the only reason why Russia failed to create the so-called ‘Novorossia’ is that the residents of these regions, although they speak Russian, consider themselves Ukrainians.
‘We, Ukrainians, have no problems with our own identity. Moreover, we do not care what Putin thinks about it. We are a Ukrainian political nation, whose equal members are citizens of different ethnic origins, different religious denominations and language communities. We are distinguished from Russians not only by our own historical experience, language, songs and dances, cuisine, but also by political culture, attitudes toward human rights and freedoms, and a conscious and deep-rooted sense of belonging to European civilization. These differences between Ukraine and Russia have only intensified over the last seven years. In addition, Putin has played not the least role in accelerating the process’, Poroshenko added.
Poroshenko thinks that spreading the thesis of ‘one nation’, Putin encroaches upon sovereignty of Ukraine.
‘The thesis of ‘one nation’ demonstrates that Putin does not need just Crimea and Donbas. He wants the whole Ukraine because he denies our right to existence as a nation and a state. Putin wants Ukraine to be a federal district within Russia’, concluded Ukraine’s former president.