Embassy of Ukraine in Japan

Kyiv 04:58

Interview of Ambassador to Japan Ihor Kharchenko with Kyodo News (18.02.2015)

19 February 2015, 11:42

Envoy says Ukraine is actually in war with Russia.

TOKYO, Feb. 18, Kyodo.

Ukraine is "actually waging war against Russia and their proxies" in the conflict between government forces and pro-Russian separatists, Kiev's Ambassador to Japan Ihor Kharchenko said in a recent interview with Kyodo News.

The envoy said he is "100 percent" certain that Russian troops are operating in Ukraine, answering in the affirmative when asked if the conflict in eastern Ukraine is a "fight for freedom" from Russian influence.

Taking a swipe against the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kharchenko said, "Russia today is a terrorist state."

The ambassador made the remarks amid continued fighting between Ukrainian troops and separatist forces despite a cease-fire agreement struck last Thursday.

The cease-fire accord, reached by the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine, called for the withdrawal of heavy weaponry and the granting of special status to areas controlled by the separatists.

After the cease-fire took effect Sunday, fighting stopped in most areas but "not everywhere," the ambassador said.

Currently, fighting is continuing in Debaltseve in the Donetsk region, a strategic transport hub where the Russian-backed separatists have surrounded Ukrainian government troops.

"The situation is very volatile and unstable," Kharchenko said.

The cease-fire deal struck in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, merely stopped the fighting but does not translate to a peace agreement, Kharchenko said, noting such a deal can be reached only after Russian troops "fully and unconditionally" withdraw from Ukraine.

He urged Russia to abide by a previous cease-fire accord struck last September, which called for the pullout of foreign troops.

Kharchenko also said Ukraine will continue to protect its territory and added the granting of special status to areas controlled by the separatists in eastern Ukraine would amount to self-government at the local level and not autonomy.

While recognizing the positive effect of sanctions imposed by the United States, European countries and Japan on Russia over the Ukraine crisis, the ambassador called on the international community to do more to defuse the tensions.

"Sanctions are good," he said, but such steps are "slow" in bringing about change, and Ukrainian soldiers and civilians continue to die.

He said the Japanese government had been "extremely helpful" politically and in providing economic and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.


Last interviews

Ambassador Ihor Kharchenko made an exclusive appearance on the evening talk show live news program «PRIME NEWS» of Japanese TV station FUJI TV | 16 May 2014, 02:53

"That act, which took place on 11 May in Lugansk and Donetsk regions - was a worthless farce , a show for the Russian media of predetermined" - the general message of Ihor Kharchenko //
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"Russia became an enemy, not only for Ukraine, but for all democratic rights and freedoms by losing its credibility in the eyes of the international society" | 28 April 2014, 05:17

- the leitmotif of the interview of Ambassador of Ukraine to Japan Ihor Kharchenko, given to the prestigious Japanese financial newspaper «Finance Facsimile News» //
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"Crimea was, is and will be an integral territory of Ukraine!" – it was a slogan of Press-Conference of Ambassador Igor Kharchenko, held at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan (FCCJ) | 18 March 2014, 08:19

Nearly 70 reporters from international and Japanese news agencies, leading print and television media, representatives of political parties, political experts and business community of Japan, as well as foreign diplomatic missions attended this media event.
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On March 4, 2014 a Press-conference of Ambassador of Ukraine to Japan Ihor Kharchenko on Russia act of military aggression toward Ukraine was held for journalists of the Japan's most influential mass-media. | 05 March 2014, 06:16

In particular, there were journalists and correspondents of the leading newspapers - «The Yomiuri Shimbun», «The Asahi Shimbun», «The Mainichi Shimbun», «The Sankei Shimbun», «The Tokyo Shimbun», economic newspaper «Nikkei Keizai Shimbun», news agencies «Kyodo News» and «Jiji Press», TV companies NHK and TBS.
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