Interviews and articles

07.12.2004

Interview: We should not be “orange” or “white-and-blue”, but “yellow-and-blue" - by the colours of the national flag of Ukraine

Though both candidates for the presidency have taken their families away from Kiev for security reasons, the son-in-4aw of the Ukrainian president has announced that he is an optimist and he is not going to take his children anywhere.

While being asked about his walk along the Christchatik with his daughter, Victor Pinchuk said:
- ... I would like to tell you frankly: by the highest standards, the remarkable event is taking place in our country. With plus or minus? - different people answer this question differently. But the event is outstanding - from the point of view of our country. And it seems to me very important to see it with my own eyes and to try to perceive what's going on, to feel what's happening...
If the politicians from both sides visited Maidan and talked with people more often, they would have better understood the situation. It's very important to feel the spirit of the times.

- Did you feel this spirit?

- Yes, I did.

- Have you been alarmed? You see, people are accustomed to see moguls surrounded by their body-guards.

- I've had my body-guards, but there was nobody to be guarded from. The atmosphere was very sincere, light and cheerful. It's not these people who strike the keynote of hysteria and aggression. Not them...

- But what role do they play?

- I don't want to hurt anybody, but sometimes these people are imposed by someone the role of wild mob. On these very people the righteous, in principle, slogans of the fight against corruption and for the democratic reforms, etc. are trained. Using these people the politicians come to power.

- Are the camping inhabitants fooled as much as sometimes one tries presenting them?

- Not at all. One thing has impressed me very much. Near one of the camps I was shown a stand with photos of, let say, their objects of fight, and, of course, I saw my picture among them. But there were also pictures of those who are seen on TV every day now during the meetings on Maidan. They came on the stage and wanted to be seen close to Victor Yuschenko. But the people are clever and should not be fooled with all these revolutionary decorations, and the people know the price of all those turncoats.

- The people have been lately watching TV broadcasting with great interest, especially, the opposition TV channels. It's understandable - they openly call things by their proper names that yesterday seemed to be absolutely incredible. Together with the events taking

place in our country, the TV is also changing. It's impossible to ignore. What can you say? You've been a media magnate.

- Why have been? I'm not going to give up my media resources.

- You've been a media-magnate whose TV channels were often admitted, even by the opposition, to be if not absolutely independent from creative point of view, however, striving for presenting the information comprehensively, without bias .. . Maybe there have been some pluses in this revolutionary situation because it made even journalists work in a different way.

- It's obvious to me that the revolution has brought its pluses. For instance, this qualitative breakthrough on TV and in media.

- You're a Western-oriented politician and, by the way, you've never hidden this fact. You've lately succeeded in inviting to Ukraine so many the well-known international leaders and experts. And in your recent interview to "NYTimes" you've said that you'd like to live in the "global world". From the other hand, there's growing critics and blames of the Ukrainian president's one-sided foreign policy - primarily, oriented at the "authoritarian", as they say, Russia. I wonder how it's combined within the president family's vision.

-It's normally combined. First, the main goal of the foreign policy for the president Kuchma is not pro-Russian, or pro-Western targets, but pro-Ukrainian ones. He makes his decisions, he is the head of our state. In this sense, I don't have any influence on his decisions. I know that his priorities are pro-Ukrainian. And how they are seen from the outside - it depends on a person. Today's vision of the global world is more complicated and richer. It's impossible to speak about Ukraine without taking into account the strategic interests of the USA, China, and India - and after that - Russia and the West Europe. And the fact that the USA is demonstrating its strategic interests in Ukraine doesn't mean the USA's fight for its superiority over Russia. It's a fight for its future superiority over China and India.

- In this fight, by the way, one often uses not only diplomatic means. Many papers wrote about the aggressive U.S. technologies like those being applied to the "velvet" and not very "velvet" revolutions in Yugoslavia and Georgia. I mean the "Pora" campaign.

- First of all, I'm far from suspecting the U.S. government "hand" in these actions. I can assume that the USA are interested in the democratic and fair elections in Ukraine. But it's absolutely clear that there have been applied some effective foreign technologies here which had been preparing for a long time. And their major target is not the election of November 2l, but the period starting from November 23. And immediately they announced the falsification of the elections. In an absolutely dramatic way. I'm convinced that the violations were made by both sides. And in both rounds. And one should admit it. But the "oranges" are not interested in it, neither the whole West is. They declared that "their victory was stolen". They went out in the streets (that is democratic, in general). And the whole world sees that the truth is on their side. Then they demonstrated that the force was also on their side.

- Why did the authorities keep silence?

- The authorities were demonstrating (in spite of the grounds given by the Constitution) that they are democratic and that they are not going to use forces against their people. Even when the cabinet of ministers is blocked, and the Presidential administration as well. And then the people

on the streets under the leadership of "field commanders' started effecting the decision-making. Moreover, the decisions are made beyond the legal frame, like in case with the Supreme Court. As there is no such law, according to which, we can have a re-run of the second round of the elections. And then, we should adjust the law . . . to the Court decision. Can you imagine such situation in the world practice? And, notice, that it has been done under the pressure of the street.

- So, it looks like a part of that technology?

- Yes. But I'll tell you honestly - all honors to them! And Yanukovich's team was not ready to it.

- I'll ask you a provocative question. If you say that you don't influence any decision in the presidential family, all the same, nobody would believe you. OK. You don't influence the decision-making but at least you express your opinion... Discussing the candidate for the presidency, why haven't you envisaged the people's reaction? Couldn't you foresee that people would pay attention not to Yanukovich's successful business and managerial experience as a Donetsk governor, but to his past convictions.

- Yes, it was possible to envisage. By the way, his explanations on his convictions and their
revocation in those difficult Soviet times sounded to me rather convincing. But maybe this fact
was underestimated.

- OK. If it's so obvious now, won't the same card be played during the preparation to the
next voting?

- Certainly, it will.

- So, what will happen then? One cannot rule out the situation when the votes are shared by half again. And nobody is going to give in.

- It's clear now that the dynamics of the events development is not in favor of Yanukovich. But there are three weeks of the election campaign ahead. Everything might happen. One should not forget that millions of Ukrainians voted for Yanukovich.

- By the way, for whom did you personally vote?

- I have nothing to hide. For Yanukovich. And I will vote for him in December, 26. And you know why many politicians in the parliament answer this question so archly? There are many businessmen in the parliament. A politician not only must but is obliged to take risks. And he takes risks when it is required by the situation. But a businessman cannot and must not run the risk of his business. He should be either "vague" and support both sides, or be neutral. A politician has no right to that. A pure politician must always be ready to cross to the other side. In the case with our parliament, where there is a number of politician-businessmen (or rather, businessman-politicians), of course, the whole system is crippled. In such situation, a person constantly has to come into conflict with himself (by the way, it also refers to me. though I've already announced of my choice in my business favor). They always have to choose with who they are - with the authorities or the opposition. But how could a businessman oppose to the authorities? It's nonsense! The businessmen in the policy can never be in opposition to the authorities. A priori. Many absurd situations arise from here. If Yuschenko wins the elections, who will be in opposition to him, the president for the next five years, at the least? That's why a question of the business and policy separation is the question whether our society will be democratic in the future. And any society needs, in principle, a strong opposition.

- Do you believe that this time the elections will be absolutely open and fair?

- I'd like to. After such democratic lesson which Ukraine has taken, it just won't be possible to hold an election in a non-transparent way. Though I wonder, if Yanukovich gets a majority vote again, what will happen? Will they take people out on the streets again? One of the key questions I'm pondering over now is what is really going on? Many people across the world and in Ukraine sympathize with these events, with the "orange" revolution. Here are young people, students. They are rejoicing so sincerely, they are breathing in the air of freedom. That's all very well. All this effects radically the Supreme Court decisions, the parliament decisions, and some of these decisions have been already taken under the mass pressure. They try to influence the government and president's decisions too. And their actions are explained by the revolutionary necessities and by the very fact of people's rebellion against the regime. I cannot agree with that but I can understand it. And the world' reaction on all this is very positive, because the world thinks it needs to react in such way. Actually, one should consider it very thoroughly because all these events force us to act beyond the law, beyond the Constitution.... I have a question - what will happen if these people come to power due to such an effective modern political technology? Say, in a year they will have to pass a very important decision through the parliament and they won't have a majority vote. But they have a very effective and tested technology of the Street pressure. Who can guarantee today that this technology won't be applied by them in the future? If they are going to use it each time they need, then forget the word "democracy" - it'll be a "dictatorship". Everything which is going on now looks prettily sometimes, but it is full of legal nihilism. I think it was the same in 1917. .. Thank God, the events are bloodless here. And this fact is loved by the whole world. And I have seen those happy faces of the youth, they really believe in what they are told. But behind them there are people who want to conquer the power, and they are not less corrupted than those whom they want to replace. And it's not the struggle for the democracy but for the power, with all its resources - political and other ones.

- Have you already discussed in your family what to do after the elections? In the web they write about your scheduled flights to somewhere, in case...

- We're not going to fly anywhere. I haven't even heard about these fairy-tales. And Leonid Danilovich is known to work with his foundation "Ukraine" - to find and support young talents in the scientific and cultural fields and to help them to stay in this country. I suppose such charitable activity of the foundation will also assist, to some extent, a newly elected president. I've recently attended the opening ceremony of the president Bill Clinton's Foundation in Little Rock, Arkansans. I've been impressed with the surprisingly respectful behavior of the four U.S. presidents who used to be uncompromising rivals in their fight for power. How skillfully they were demonstrating the nation's unity!

- So, in December 26, we'll face up with another test - a next round of the election. You said you'd vote for Yanukovich. Why?

- First, I'm not a political prostitute. Second, we should learn to win and to loose in a decent way. I would support Yanukovich provided he would lead an active, honest and transparent electoral campaign.

- What if Yuschenko wins finally?

- It's important that he would understand that the country is divided, and it's good that it is not split. It's nonsense to say that the criminals live in the east, and the pro-Western opponent will sell the country to Americans. I'd wish a new president not to strive for full power. He should remember that his role is not to become a winner, but a consolidator of the whole Ukraine.
Source: Facty
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