DiEM25 co-founder Yanis Varoufakis sat down with Márton Gulyás from independent online TV channel Partizan to discuss, among other matters, the war in Ukraine.
As the war rolls on without an end in sight, a bizarre notion has taken precedence, particularly from self-proclaimed liberals, that those who call on the powers involved to discuss potential resolutions as opposed to endlessly stockpile weapons are Vladimir Putin supporters.
Varoufakis clarified this distinction, before stating how futile the European Union is in playing any meaningful role in diffusing this situation due to its allegiance with the United States.
Additionally, the MeRA25 leader explained how the US not only pushed for this war but has no interest in ending this conflict due to the various ways in which it benefits from dragging it out.
“As I’ve said, I called him [Putin] out as a war criminal well before the liberal commentators who are now calling me out for being Putin’s assistant,” Varoufakis said.
“The Putin regime seriously dislikes me because I’ve called them out repeatedly for decades now.
“Putin unleashed a war out of choice, his argument that he had no alternative is rubbish. Whenever countries invaded, whether it’s Ukraine, Yemen, Palestinians, whoever, I will always support the invaded. I think we have a moral duty to do that. And to support the military defence, within reason of course.”
The EU is in bed with the US, and the US wants to keep the war going
“When I see what the United States government has been doing ever since Putin committed that criminal act of invading Ukraine, it is clear that it’s the United States running the show – there is no such thing as a European Union, the European Union has completely fallen in line with Washington DC. They’ve simply acquiesced 100% to whatever Biden is doing,” Varoufakis stated.
“When I look at what Biden is doing, the American administration is doing, they are clearly interested in one thing – turning this war into a permanent conflict. Because it is in the US government, establishment, military industrial complex, Texan fracking oil industry interest… that this war goes on forever.
“It’s multi-faceted. Firstly, if you listen to what Miss [Victoria] Nuland – the undersecretary of state – has been saying for years now, she’s been saying that expanding NATO to Ukraine is in the national security interests of the United States – she’s been saying this since 2012, 2013.
“If you’re a Texan oil, gas, LNG producer and exporter, you are rubbing your hands with glee because you have replaced Gazprom in Europe.
“[German chancellor] Olaf Scholz announced 100 billion euros worth of arms purchases by Germany – who are they going to buy this from? They are not buying it from Hungary or Greece, but from the United States.
“So the United States has, not as a people, but as a military industrial complex, a fossil fuel producer, and of course as a nexus of military power that it projects worldwide, it has been a major beneficiary of the Ukrainian war.
“The one nightmare that keeps Biden up at night is the end of the Ukrainian war. So they are prepared to continue with this war until the last Ukrainian dies or the last Russian dies.
“We in Europe should be seeking ways of ending the conflict.”
What does Varoufakis suggest for the war to end?
“I made it on September 24 – my party came out with a proposal on what should happen. And I will repeat this because I haven’t changed my mind,” he said.
“Of course the longer this war continues, the less likely it is that such a solution will be implemented. But my view was that there’s no possibility of peace talks between Zelensky and Putin, because this is asymmetrical.
“There is no possibility of the European Union playing a role because the European Union is so weak and such a non-entity when it comes to geopolitics.
“The proposal was really very simple. Biden and Putin should have a summit, together with Zelensky the European Union, and maybe China as well, to come to a very simple agreement:
- Russian troops pack their bags to where they were before February 24.
- A commitment from the United States that Ukraine will not be made a NATO member.
- Mutual guarantees of its independence and its neutrality.
- The Donbass area, where there is a genuine question there about the conflict between communities – Russian speakers, Ukrainian speakers – should be dealt with in a manner that the European Union and the United States dealt with Northern Ireland, a Good Friday agreement, which empowers both communities to live in peace with one another, with international guarantees that that Good Friday-like agreement will be implemented.
- The question of Crimea and the lands that were sort of turned autonomous, effectively taken over by Russia in 2014, this becomes an issue that we will discuss in the next 50 years, we kick it into the long grass because there is no way that this can be resolved peacefully at this stage.
“It seems to me that it remains the only potential resolution of this conflict.
“I’m glad the Ukrainians gave Putin a bloody nose, that they pushed him back, in the same way that I would be glad if I saw that the Palestinians were pushing the Israeli army back, the Yemenis [pushing] the Saudi army back.
“As I said, I support any nation, any country, any people, that are defending their homes.”
Ukraine becoming part of NATO is not good for anyone
“I think Putin would discuss the possibility of a gradual integration of Ukraine into the EU,” he said.
“NATO membership absolutely not. I wouldn’t want Ukraine to be a member of NATO. Just think about it: do you really want NATO troops and Russian troops, full of nuclear weapons, facing each other, in a place where there’s been war yesterday or where there is war today? I wouldn’t want that.
“I mean it’s not even good for NATO, for the West, for Ukraine to be absorbed into NATO. And it seems to me that the only strategy that could end this conflict in a manner which would guarantee Ukraine that which Finland, Austria and Sweden had during the Cold War – which is the right to decide their own politics, [and] to grow economically…
“They were not NATO members but still they were under international guarantees by both NATO and the Warsaw Pact that they would not be touched – that would be an ideal scenario for a Ukraine that really wants to prosper, that wants to get out of the misery of war and subjugation.
“And the way to achieve that would be, on the one hand, to equip the Ukrainian army sufficiently to give Putin a bloody nose AND leave a door open for Putin to escape, diplomatically to escape, to claim a victory, to go to his own people in Moscow or Saint Petersburg or wherever, and say ‘I won a victory, the United States agreed not to turn Ukraine into the latest NATO country, we have an agreement for Donbass where the Russian speakers will not be subjugated by the Ukrainian speakers…’ That kind of thing would work if we wanted it to work.
“I very much fear that Washington DC does not want an end to this war.”
Watch the full episode below
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