By Igor Damjanovic“First, I would like to greet the fraternal people in Serbia and Montenegro. Really pleasant memories bind me to visits to the Balkans, which used to be frequent. I especially remember when we unveiled the monument to Taras Shevchenko in Podgorica in 2011.” – Nikolay Azarov, Prime Minister of Ukraine from March 2010 to January 2014, began his conversation with “Alo”.

ID: How do you comment on the tragic events in Ukraine?

NA: It’s hard to watch the suffering of ordinary people and the destruction of cities, of what generations have built. The current tragic events are only the epilogue of the 2014 coup, which has long been prepared and organized by the American intelligence services. For their associates, the rabid extremists and neo-Nazis, who immediately after the violent takeover started terror against people they saw as dissidents, especially those who advocated good relations and cooperation with the Russian Federation.

Look at who the American partners in the coup d’etat of 2014 were. Andriy Parubiy, the man who founded the National-Socialist Party of Ukraine in 1992. That man was also the main organizer of the massacre in Odessa. Over 100 citizens of Odessa, participants in the mass protest against the coup regime in Kiev, were crushed in the building of the House of Trade Unions, locked, and the building was then doused in flames with Molotov cocktails. Most were burned alive and died in agony. Only a few survived, and those who tried to escape by jumping through the upstairs windows were shot or beaten with sticks on the sidewalk. For gull 8 years, no one has been held responsible for the brutal massacre of the citizens of Odessa.

ID: How do you comment on the fact that the West was mostly silent about human rights violations in Ukraine?

NA: Reports have been sent to the West about what happened in the prisons run by the SBU (Ukrainian Security Service), the mass killing of civilians in Donbass and a number of other crimes. This was also discussed at the UN, and I personally participated in the address to the German Bundestag. A parliamentary committee was formed there, and Angela Merkel’s government was asked to undertake further investigations. Unfortunately, the government did not act on the request of the parliament.

Look at what’s happening today. All prominent opponents of the regime are arrested, tortured and killed. And not only the opponents, just look at what happened to Denis Kireev, a member of the (Ukrainian) state negotiating team in Gomel. I knew him personally, he was one of the best bankers and financial experts in Ukraine. He was brutally tortured in the SBU prison, killed and thrown out on Zhytomyrska Street, in order to intimidate everyone who would think of raising their voice against the Zelensky regime.

ID: How do you see the future of Ukraine?

NA: Ukraine will only have a future if we elect a government that will work in the interest of the citizens of Ukraine. We do not need a pro-American, pro-European or pro-Russian government. I am proud of the results of my government’s work. In 4 years, we have managed to raise the living standards of citizens by 60%. I would like to point out that we achieved this at a time unfavorable for our exports and extremely high energy prices. For example, in 2012, the standard of living of Ukrainian citizens was higher than in the EU member states like Bulgaria and Romania, but just last year, we were the poorest country in Europe, with a poverty rate of almost 50%.

The West, neither in my time nor now, wants to cooperate economically with Ukraine. They did not accept calls for a strategic partnership with our industry, but tried to close our companies. They have succeeded in that for the last 8 years. I don’t know if they opened any important factory, our aerospace giant “Antonov” did not produce a single airplane in 8 years, and the foreign debt increased by 50 billion US dollars.