News from Russia: Russia must pay Ukraine for annexing Crimea - Nemtsov's ally

13:37 Aug. 1, 2016

Russia must pay Ukraine for annexing Crimea - Nemtsov's ally

Irina Hakamada arrives before a farewell ceremony for Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov on March 3, 2015 in Moscow, Russia (Getty Images)

Another referendum on the Black Sea peninsula, though legitimate, will lead both countries nowhere, Irina Khakamada says 

Russia should pay an indemnity to Ukraine for annexing Crimea, which will help solve the territorial conflict between the countries.

This opinion was expressed by Russian MP candidate and murdered opposition leader Boris Nemtsov's ally, Irina Khakamada in her interview with Novaya Gazeta.

According to her, Russia annexed the peninsula amid the conflict, not under normal conditions.

"That's why - on the one hand - I agree with Grigory Yavlinsky (Russian political figure) who says that we need another one legitimate referendum. But on the other hand - if we hold another referendum, even without a single Russian 'polite' soldier, even with the OSCE monitors, still it will lead us to nowhere. Because Ukraine will oppose it, even if a majority of people vote for Russia. Consequently, we can face a new military tension between the two countries, and it will be a disaster. Well, how long will we be fighting? I feel sorry for Ukraine, I feel sorry for Russia. We all need peace. I think it is better and easier to pay an indemnity to Ukraine", said Khakamada.

Read also Six more countries back EU's decision to extend sanctions against Crimea

She believes that Russia has enough money to pay because corrupt officials can 'chip in' for it.

"I said during the Direct Line with Vladimir Putin that we (Russia) should not go to Ukraine, and I was lambasted by all radical patriots. I always said that Russia should not have meddled in Georgia. As I supported Ukraine's 2014 Orange Revolution, I told both Yushchenko and Tymoshenko that they should quickly and accurately switch to the federate system", said the opposition politician.

Irina Khakamada, however, acknowledged that under new circumstances Ukraine will not agree to federalize the country, it will repeat the Russian history.

"Though they (Ukrainians) are certainly a different nation, free and joyful, while we (Russians) are slaves and cannot compare ourselves with Ukraine", the politician added. Khakamada added that Ukraine and Russia have a different mentality, history, scope, resources.

"Yes, both countries shared the same Soviet history, both countries have corruption problems. But Ukrainians are closer to the European borders, they are a passionate nation, they always play with some alternative. Their oligarchs always fight with each other - they will never have 'our situation' when all people are governed by one person", Khakamada stated.

On July 28, Russian President Vladimir Putin abolished the Crimean federal district by making Crimea and Sevastopol part of Russia's Southern federal district. Under the president's decree, the District now consists of Adygea, Kalmykia, Crimea, Krasnodar Territory, Astrakhan region, Volgograd region, Rostov region and Sevastopol. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry expressed its protest over such a decision and stated that Crimea remains a Ukrainian territory.

Read also Elimination of 'Crimea federal district' does not change US sanction policy - Pyatt

Crimea peninsula was seized from Ukraine by Russia in February 2014. Ukraine's Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) officially declared February 20, 2014, a beginning of Russia's illegal occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol. Numerous world leaders strongly condemned the illegal annexation and launched a range of economic sanctions against Russia.

Despite the overall resentment, Moscow rejects the notion "occupation", naming its deeds instead "a renewal of historical justice".

Grigory Yavlinsky is a Russian economist and politician. He is best known as the author of the 500 Days Programme, a plan for the transition of the USSR to a free-market economy, and for his leadership of the social-liberal Yabloko party. He ran twice for Russia's presidency – in 1996, against Boris Yeltsin, finishing fourth with 7.3% of the vote; and in 2000, against Vladimir Putin, finishing third with 5.8%. (Source - Wikipedia).

Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was gunned down on February 27 in 2015, in Moscow's centre, near the Kremlin walls, as he walked home with his girlfriend from a restaurant. Nemtsov had been preparing a report to expose Russia's military invasion of eastern Ukraine at the time of his murder. Five Chechen men are charged with his murder, although critics say the accused have been framed. '

Viktor Yushchenko is a Ukrainian politician who was the third President of Ukraine from 23 January 2005 to 25 February 2010. As an informal leader of the Ukrainian opposition coalition, he was one of the two main candidates in the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election. Yushchenko won the presidency through a repeat runoff election between him and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. The Ukrainian Supreme Court called for the runoff election to be repeated because of widespread electoral fraud in favor of Viktor Yanukovych in the original vote. Yushchenko won in the revote (52% to 44%). Public protests prompted by the electoral fraud played a major role in that presidential election and led to Ukraine's Orange Revolution. (Source - Wikipedia).

Yulia Tymoshenko, former Ukrainian Prime Minister, and current Batkivshchyna party leader. She co-led the Orange Revolution and was the first woman appointed Prime Minister of Ukraine, serving from 24 January to 8 September 2005, and again from 18 December 2007 to 4 March 2010. On 11 October 2011, she was convicted of embezzlement and abuse of power, and sentenced to seven years in prison. The prosecution and conviction were viewed as politically biased. She was released on 22 February 2014, in the concluding days of the Euromaidan revolution. (Source - Wikipedia).

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