Ex-envoy to US condemns ruling party’s ‘silence’ under looming threat of Russian invasion of Ukraine

19 January 2022, 05:19 PM

The United States, Germany, France and others are actively discussing Russia’s military buildup and ways to de-escalate the situation, while members of the ruling Servant of the People party are not participating in the dialogue, Valeriy Chaly, chairman of the board of the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center has told Radio NV.

“Our so-called mono-majority has stepped aside from the active role of Ukrainian lawmakers,” Chaly, a former ambassador of Ukraine to the United States, said in an interview with the station, referring to the ruling party’s majority of over 50 percent of the seats in parliament.

“After all, they are not MPs of (President Volodymyr) Zelensky, they are MPs of Ukraine,” Chaly said.

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“There are smart people there. They are not allowed to say anything at all, everything comes from only one source. This is a great danger for Ukrainian society if we lose the role of parliament. This means that we are curtailing democracy.”

The former ambassador said the situation on the Ukrainian border could escalate according to three scenarios.

“There are not so many alternatives – we have three scenarios,” he said.

“The first one is a harsh confrontation with Russia and the strengthening of Ukraine (with the help of partners). The second (scenario) is surrender. The third one is the search for a diplomatic track to delay these processes and bring about (a situation) where it is more difficult (for Russia) to attack.”

Chaly said a diplomatic compromise was the likeliest scenario, adding that the positions of Ukrainian society and parliament are just as important in this scenario as the views of incumbent President Zelensky and his administration.

Russia has been massing troops at the Russian-Ukrainian border since late October.

As of early December, about 100,000 Russian soldiers were deployed near the Russian-Ukrainian border and in the temporarily occupied territories in the Donbas, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said in Ukraine’s parliament on Dec. 3.

International media have speculated that Russia may invade Ukraine in early 2022, in an operation that could involve up to 175,000 Russian soldiers.

Both U.S. and European officials have expressed concern over the situation. U.S. President Joe Biden in December declared that the White House was working out “the most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin to go ahead and do what people are worried he may do.”

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