As Russian forces continue to press down Ukrainian defenses in Kiev, Kharkiv, and Mariupol, Euronews sat down with Moscow’s envoy to the European Union, Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov.
The diplomat denied his country’s forces had invaded Ukraine.
Russia says the campaign is meant to rid Ukraine of far-right Nazi elements whom it says are a danger to Russian-speaking communities in the east.
President Vladmir Putin has demanded Ukraine disarm and declare neutrality.
Euronews’ Efi Koutsokosta sat down with Ambassador Chizov in Brussels.
Euronews: When we see all these people, it’s almost two million people, according to the agency’s refugee agencies fleeing the war, leaving the country and seeking, let’s say, for a shelter in Europe. Are all these people Nazis?
Ambassador Chizov: Well, actually, you named the figure of two million, could be even more. Do you count those who fled to Russia in that figure? Because many Ukrainian citizens fled to Russia. . Oh, perhaps not the same number to Poland, where they are greeted with open arms. Oh, contrary to what we saw quite recently with the Syrian and other Middle Eastern refugees in Poland. But anyway. Oh, I understand that people are trying to escape the zone of conflict.
Euronews: So as the situation is still ongoing, you as the EU ambassador, are you still in touch with EU diplomats here in Brussels and what are you telling them?
Ambassador Chizov: Yes, of course. I explained to them the motivation and the reasoning behind Russia’s own activities. I also enquire what they think and what the EU as an entity thinks, besides this obsession with sanctions.
But my President is talking to the President of the council, Charles Michel.
Euronews: The Finnish President after having talked to [President] Putin on Friday said that changing the government of Ukraine is not anymore on the list of Russian demands. Can you confirm that?
Ambassador Chizov: Well, I believe that any future Ukrainian government is up to the Ukrainian people to decide.
Euronews: So you can even work with this government that is now in power.
Ambassador Chizov: It’s very difficult to actually even speak to the government because they are producing confusing signals all the time. One day they say one thing, next day they say totally different thing.
And they’re quite irresponsible, I should say.