A strong economy will reduce foreign interference in the Affairs of Ukraine

Сильная экономика приведет к сокращению иностранного вмешательства в дела Украины

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the summit “Big seven” Japan initiates a discussion of the situation in Ukraine. What issues can be discussed at the summit?

– Of course, for member States of the G7, the question of Ukraine is one of the most important issues that we will discuss in the context of the G7 summit, which will take place on 26 and 27 may. It is important for us to resolve the Ukrainian question. And there are certain things that will be discussed. In the first place, how can I solve this problem – in particular, the Minsk agreement, which should be maintained as the only solution. The second is sanctions against Russia should be continued or not? And third, should there be condemned Russia’s actions in annexing Crimea? As well as the attitude of the Russian forces destabilizing the situation in Eastern Ukraine and domestic reforms in Ukraine. All of these basic questions the leaders of the G7 needs to discuss in the context of the Ukrainian question.

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– You mentioned the question of whether to be prolonged sanctions. What is the Japanese view on this?

– The existence of sanctions is due to existence of Minsk agreement and the subject of the occupation of the Crimea. If Russia will not continue to abide by the Minsk agreement, while Russia occupies Crimea, the sanctions should be extended. As I said, sanctions are strongly associated with these issues.

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– Japan is the largest donor of Ukraine over the past two years – has your country provided assistance in the amount of $ 2 billion. What are the reasons for such significant support of Ukraine?

– For Japan, the problem of Ukraine is important because it has global implications. This is not a personal question. It is not a question only for Europe, it is a matter of global involvement. Because now the international community should support the principle that nothing should be solved by force. Only by peaceful means. And this basic position of Japan is applicable to the issue of Ukraine. I mean, Japan’s position is very clear: first, we should not allow foreign interference in Ukraine, we will continue our sanctions against Russia and against its illegal annexation and continued external interference in Ukraine’s Affairs. Secondly, to make Ukraine strong economically, I think it would reduce foreign interference, and it is also the reason why Japan has been providing assistance to Ukraine. But, of course, Ukraine must do its own “homework”. It means reform. This is also the reason why Japan has been providing assistance to make Ukraine strong. But Ukraine itself has to work for himself, to fight corruption and carry out economic reforms to promote privatization of state property business. I therefore hope that the Japanese assistance will go hand in hand with this reform.

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– In which areas Japan is most helpful to Ukraine?

– Great assistance Japan has been providing aeration station in Bortnichi, which purifies the polluted Dnipro river. Purification of this river is not only useful for people to get drinking water but also for agriculture, to use clean water. Our biggest help is sent to it. And people noticed that at present Ukrainian police rides on the performance of the cars the Toyota Prius. It is also a gift of the government of Japan. And look at the Ukrainian underground. Now the Japanese introduced new energy-efficient rolling stock – they were also donated by the Japanese government. And in the Eastern part of Ukraine Japan together with the UN and other international organizations, as ICRС (Red Cross), has increased humanitarian assistance, repairing hospitals and schools damaged by shelling, and Japan is implementing a number of projects that help generate revenue. For example, one day I received a very nice letter from a woman who runs a workshop for repairing shoes and which left the Donetsk region and came to Kiev, but she had money to start a new business. And through the UN, Japan has donated about 10 thousand dollars. They rented a shop, opened their own Shoe shop in Kiev, and appears to be successful in business. Also here like we do.

– Ukraine hopes to soon get visa-free regime with the EU. Is there a chance that the Ukrainians can travel without visas in Japan?

– Currently, the exchange of people between Ukraine and Japan is very important. And still Japan did not open the visa-free regime with any country in the former Soviet Union, but for the first time with Ukraine, Japan has decided to have visa-free regime for holders of diplomatic passports. Maybe people will think that this is a small step, but it’s actually very big, because this is the first such phenomenon in this genus. This initiative starts in June, and I hope that this may be the first step a visa-free regime between Japan and Ukraine.

Is a new solution that was adopted, isn’t it? On a diplomatic visa-free regime?

Exactly. It was agreed when President Poroshenko visited Japan in April, and signed the document exchanges between the two governments and the initiative itself will begin in June.

– But what are the basic requirements that countries must meet to obtain a visa-free regime. What do you think, can Ukraine, maybe in a couple years, get it?

– I really hope so… Let’s try a visa-free regime for holders of diplomatic passports, we’ll start it. And as soon as we can say that it works very well, we will expand this regime and in relation to other passports, I hope that this, ultimately, will apply to all Ukrainian citizens.

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