When we buy Russian gas, we buy them arms, Yushchenko says in Vilnius
When buying Russian gas and implementing joint energy projects with Russia, Europe funds its armament, former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko told an international conference in Vilnius on Wednesday.
"Dear colleagues, this is not an energy issue, let's not be naïve. Oil and gas is Putin's pure political category, his alpha and omega," he said, paying attention to the fact that Eastern Europe buy the majority of Russian gas, and this money makes the lion's share of Russia's military budget.
"Does Europe realize that every ton of oil, every thousand cubic meters of gas are an attempt to fund the occupation of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. We are aware that this way we help to fill the tanks and supply their artillery," Yushchenko said.
"I am sad that we have no priorities in Europe and we are just engaged in banal talking about some economic discussions when we need to talk about our life," the former Ukrainian president underlined.
In his opinion, the existing situation in Europe very much reminds of the events before WWII in 1938 when "we are betraying the European community a territory after territory, having the goal of calming the enemy down".
"We then started with the Sudetes, we started from Austria, continued with Poland. Europe gave rise to the major world wars. Don’t you think we are doing the same now?" he asked.
Yushchenko also called for renouncing constant discussions on whether Europe should lift anti-Russia sanctions as they were introduced to "restore Ukraine's sovereignty and integrity".
"Until this goal is not achieved, I am sure any review of the economic sanctions cannot be put on the political agenda," the Ukrainian politician said.