Ukraine’s UN Envoy to Yanukovych’s Next Host: `Enjoy… These Crooks’

Photograph by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Ukrainian representative to the United Nations Yuriy Sergeyev attends a press conference about the on-going social upheaval in Ukraine, on Feb. 24, 2014 at the United Nations.

While Ukrainian Ambassador to the UN Yuriy Sergeyev has no idea where former President Viktor Yanukovych is or where he will seek refuge, he has one word of advice for Yanukovych’s future host: “Enjoy.”

Even Yanukovych’s own party leaders do not know the ousted leader’s whereabouts, including the locations of other party leaders and former government officials such as the general prosecutor, prime minister and interior minister, Sergeyev told reporters today at a press conference in New York.

“I don’t know,” he said. “Who will host these crooks? It’s up to them. Enjoy.”

Sergeyev, 58, has been Ukraine’s top diplomat to UN headquarters in New York since 2007, three years before Yanukovych took office. Although he has served in the former government, he said he has expressed solidarity with the student protesters since Dec. 1 when violence erupted in Kiev.

The Armenia-born career diplomat, son of a Russian father and Ukrainian mother, avoided giving a direct answer to a question on the future of his country’s future with Russia.

“We can’t separate each other, they are our neighbors,” he said, adding that division along the lines of Europe versus Russia “is not for us.”

“We are to be a partner for European Union,” Sergeyev said. “We are to be good friends, good neighbors to Russia.”

While some say Ukraine has a lot of natural resources and could be self-sufficient with some policy changes in energy consumption, Sergeyev said the crux of bilateral ties with Ukraine’s neighbor is not in economics.

“What we want really — we want respect,” he said. “We want to have the relations which are mutually beneficial, which reflect our traditions, our ties.”

He demanded a stop to “the spread of lies of the nature of political change in Ukraine as a coup,” a claim repeatedly being made by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

“Ukraine has a legitimately formed power, which already made a government of national trust,” he said. “We expect the support of all those difficult but necessary democratic changes that this government should bring to Ukraine.”

 

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