President Yanukovych Created Ukraine Crisis: Herbst

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Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) –- Former Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst discusses the situation in Kiev and the escalation in violence. He speaks to Carol Massar on Bloomberg Television’s “Taking Stock.” (Source: Bloomberg)

The situation that we are seeing in kiev an escalation that we are seeing in terms of violence.

It is a pleasure to be here.

This is a crisis of nearly three months standing.

It kept going when the president decided not to make a trade deal with the eu.

He decided he was forced to clear the streets in late november.

He failed and is trying again tonight.

You have had experience in this region.

Is there anything historically that you can draw upon that can help us get through this point where they can find some resolution?

There are two ways this crisis could be resolved.

By massive crackdown or by a serious concession by the authorities.

The president has alternated between on the one hand offering half concessions or on the other trying to crack down but being unable to do so.

Tonight he is threatening to crack down again but the opposition and the protesters stay in the streets so it is unclear if he can do this.

The real weight -- what i wanted to ask you is who you fault more at this point, the president of the ukraine of opposition leader?

This crisis is the direct result of the increasing oppression of the president.

There would not be thousands in the streets today if he had not try to crack down on the demonstration which was originally against just european integration.

His regular use of repressive tactics is what puts people in the streets.

This is a crisis yet created -- he has created.

Russia has been playing a role here.

Shoring up their bonds.

Russia, in terms of their role, what should it be in?


putin is an authoritarian and would hate to see a real step towards democracy in ukraine so easy encouraging the president of ukraine to crack down on the demonstrators.

There could be a peaceful resolution to this.

Resolution consistent with ukraine values.

If the president ukraine were go to a constitutional change would make the prime minister independent to the president and offer that.

You were there during a time in kiev that was known as the orange revolution and you were involved in a lot of events that really led up to his presidency.

What can we learn about that time than what we saw there and apply it to what we are going through today?

That is a good question because there was a serious protest when i was ambassador and that protest was ultimately led to a political compromise which led to a new president of ukraine.

It involved constitutional change so that the people giving up authority knew that he would not be all-powerful.

That was a solution that worked in 2004 and a solution that could work in 2014. you anticipate that constitutional change will have to be a part of any resolution at this point?

There are other possibilities.

The president could step down and permit early elections to the presidency.

Those elections are scheduled for 2015 but could happen this year.

Let him agree to give up some of his powers.

Give the opposition real authority and then the protesters will clear out.

We addressed a little bit of the role of russia.

What about the european union as a whole in this region?

What should be their role in our sanctions necessary at this point?

The european union is the great model for ukraine to follow.

This crisis began when the president walked away from a trade agreement with the eu.

Eu has more influence in ukraine and then the united states because it has the ability to offer incentives that we do not.

Ukraine would very much like this trade agreement with the eu and eventually become a member.

Does not advantage is that the united states that offer.

As for sanctions, i believe that if there were sanctions on corrupt officials on ukraine visiting the united states and the eu in it for financial sanctions against the assets of ukrainian officials, this would encourage the ukrainian government to make the political compromises necessary to a peaceful resolution.

You mentioned the united states.

What is their role?

The united states share the same interests as the eu in seeing the resolution -- the revolution of the democratic ukraine.

We do have influence of the world leaders power -- leading powert but we can offer the ukraine incentives like the eu can.

Our role is important but not as important as eu.

This is a crisis that is created within refrain and is a crisis that we resolve iranian's -- by ukrainians.

Outside actors several it's of little influence.

What would be your first step in trying to bring some resolution to a situation that has escalated?

What will be your first step here?

I would tell the protesters to stop any violent acts.

Stop throwing stones.

I would tell the government to take all emulation out of the hands of the police.

There have been deaths of protesters with real bullets.

Stop the violence right now.

The president had invited the leaders of the opposition to talk tomorrow.

Let those talks take place.

But the president put real concessions on the table.

What is your fear?

This is three months and counting and the death toll is mounting.

What is your fear in terms of what may still be yet to come?

It is clear that the situation has already included violence, violence which is not the part of ukraine's history for the past 20 years.

There are hotheads on both sides who might be interested in seeing increased violence.

That is a real danger.

I believe there are also people of sanity in the government and the opposition and they can reach agreement.

The core to that agreement has to be a serious concession by the president which we have not

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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