Highlights from interview with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk
Published Friday, March 21, 2014 10:06PM EDT
As Russia formally annexed Crimea on Friday, the European Union signed a political association agreement with new Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
Speaking to CTV News on Friday, Yatsenyuk said he has no intentions of surrendering to Russia, and Crimea will always be part of Ukraine.
Here are some highlights from Yatsenyuk’s interview with CTV’s Daniele Hamamdjian. The full video is attached to this story.
Getting Crimea back from Russia
If you mean just Ukraine, this is not a conflict between two countries. If we mean as an international community, this is the more complicated question. This is one country…which has decided to commit an armed robbery, grabbing the land and part of an independent state, and no punishment.
Sanctions imposed by the European Union, U.S. and Canada
The key problem is that a number of countries have no real desire to impose tough economic sanctions. Everything is so interlinked in this global world, nobody wants to pay the price for freedom.
Ukrainian troops in Crimea
My message is to fight, but not to surrender…If you defend, if you protect, there are no chances to take over. For today, the order is to stay, not to surrender, to defend the military sites.
Ukraine's military strength against "the giant next door"
I don't care about the definition that they are a giant, it depends on the strength. If they have more armaments, it doesn't mean they have more spirit than we (do) to protect our country. This is my land and this is my country, but not Putin's.
Ukraine's "red line"
What we will do in case Russia crosses the border and starts a military operation and shoots Ukrainians soldiers and Ukrainian civilians, we will retaliate, including the military option.
Western boots on the ground
We do realize that it is very difficult, I would say in a very diplomatic manner, to get boots on the ground from the West. So we have relied just on our resources and on our forces…I never ask if I know I won't get.
How Canada can help
Canada is a G7 member, Canada is a strong country, Canada has a huge Ukrainian population, Canada was the first to impose a number of sanctions on former Ukrainian high-profile officials and did the same with Russia. Canada's voice is important and Canada's support is imminent and is important too.
What Canada can offer to Ukraine
Advisors, military advisors, doctors…The list could be very long, let's start with something.