Monday

28th Nov 2022

Interview

Russia needs a military victory, Ukraine envoy says

  • Ukraine's EU ambassador Vsevolod Chentsov (l) (Photo: consilium.eu)
Listen to article

Russia's threat of war against Ukraine should be seen in terms of its geopolitical and political needs, Kyiv's new ambassador in Brussels has said.

"It [Russia's regime] needs a Crimea-type boost to replenish its image and to represent itself as having a seat at the top table [in world affairs]," Vsevolod Chentsov told EUobserver in an interview, referring to Russia's military seizure of Crimea in 2014.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The crisis atmosphere was entirely manufactured by the Kremlin because in reality "nobody's threatening Russia," he said.

Moscow's Cold-War era rhetoric was also meant to impress the West, by trying to turn back the clock to times when Russia was a real superpower, he added.


"Russia has lost all soft power ... what's happening with Ukraine shows that all it has to offer its neighbours is hard power, threats of military action," Chentsov said.


"Where is your [Russia's] Eurasian Economic Union these days? What can you [Russia] actually offer people?," he added, referring to a Russian-led trade bloc meant to compete with the EU.


Meanwhile, if somebody in Moscow thought Ukraine would be "easy prey" in 2021, he was mistaken, the Ukrainian diplomat said.


"The Kremlin doesn't understand Ukraine. They think it's easy prey - that there's a strong pro-Russian sentiment there and no national Ukrainian idea. It's a totally different country compared to the situation in 2014", he said.

And Moscow's narratives on Ukraine did not add up, Chentsov noted.


One minute, the Kremlin was saying there was risk of war over Ukraine's Nato bid.


But the next, it was saying it might happen over alleged "genocide" in east Ukraine.


"These two narratives don't make sense together. How's that meant to work [according to Russia]? That one day we join Nato and the next day we order our soldiers to commit crimes?", Chentsov said.


"The irony of the situation is that it is the Kremlin, not the West, pushing Ukraine towards Nato", he added.

News in Brief

  1. 'Pro-Kremlin group' in EU Parliament cyberattack
  2. Ukraine will decide on any peace talks, Borrell says
  3. Germany blocks sale of chip factory to Chinese subsidiary
  4. Strikes and protests over cost-of-living grip Greece, Belgium
  5. Liberal MEPs want Musk quizzed in parliament
  6. Bulgarian policeman shot dead at Turkish border
  7. 89 people allowed to disembark in Italy, aid group says
  8. UN chief tells world: Cooperate on climate or perish

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  4. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  5. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos

Latest News

  1. Legal scholars: Prosecuting Putin 'legally problematic'
  2. A missed opportunity in Kazakhstan
  3. EU's Hungary funds, China, energy, and Frontex This WEEK
  4. Sweden says 'no' to EU asylum relocation pledges
  5. The 'proof' problem with EU sanctions — and how to fix it
  6. The EU gas cap: will the bottle ever be 'uncorked'?
  7. Enough talk, only rights can eliminate patriarchal violence
  8. Swedish EU presidency: 'Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine'

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us