Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson
#39 - JRL 2009-18 - JRL Home
There is no more brotherhood between Russian, Ukrainian people -Ukrainian FM

KYIV. Jan 26 (Interfax) - Ukrainian Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko thinks that the period of "brotherhood and the unity of Slavic people" has been gone for a long time in Russia-Ukraine relations.

"Time has come to get rid of stereotypes and stamps of brotherhood, historic unity and other things. We are the two sovereign states and we should build our relations on the basis of the international law," Ohryzko told a news conference in Kyiv on Monday.

"When one speaks about the Slavic unity, an interesting question arises: how many Slavic countries are NATO members and how many are not," the minister said.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry can take "no red lines and no distribution of continents at the guidance of certain leaders" in the international security issue, the minister said.

"Each state has the right to choose its national security," Ohryzko said.

Ukrainian-Russian relations should switch to the pragmatic field, he said. "We need to minimize the ideological elements of our relations, because pragmatism is the key to normalizing our relations. Regretfully, a lot of stereotypes from the Soviet era have remained in them," the minister said.

Ukraine in gas conflict with Russia was able to "act decently and adequately," Ohryzko said. "We want relations in this area to be as transparent as possible," he added.

Things should be put in order in bilateral humanitarian relations as well, he said. "We proceed from the fact that Russia will finally get rid of the stereotypes about our history, our right to have our own opinion on the history, our right to look at and assess it. We would like that tranquility, pragmatism and adequate assessments dominate in this area," Ohryzko said.