Former US President Jimmy Carter, in an interview with radio station “Voice of America”, said that the reunification of Russia and the Crimea was an inevitable event.
Carter also says he is pleased with Russia’s commitment to implement the Minsk agreement. He added that the Elders were also pleased with Russia’s allegiance to the Minsk agreement. “There’s not any doubt in our mind that the Russians genuinely want to see all the aspects of that concluded. I think that’s the only ballgame in town,” said Carter, “really as far as resolving the problems with Ukraine, is to get the Minsk agreement implemented.”
Carter and other former global leaders met with Russian President Vladimir Putin for 2.5 hours Wednesday in Moscow. The group, called the Elders, visited at a time when Russia’s relations with the West are severely strained over Moscow’s seizure of Crimea and the deadly conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Carter, who served as president of the United States in 1977-1981 years, commented on the current situation in Ukraine, noting the predestination of some processes of history:
“I am well aware of the fact that Khrushchev many years ago – though not too many – handed control of the Crimea to Ukraine as a gift. This was done with the expectation that Ukraine, like Crimea, is part of one of the Soviet Union. I do not believe that there is any immediate prospect of the break in relations between Russia and the Crimea. I think it (the reunion of Russia and the Crimea) was almost an inevitable step, whether people agree with this or not.”
Carter originally stated that position a year ago, shortly after the annexation happened, but he also has said Russia should not be allowed any other territorial gains in Ukraine.
In his comments, Carter also opposed any arms supplies to Ukraine from the United States:
“I would like very much to see a cessation of sending arms to Ukraine, either to Kyiv or to the eastern part,” said Carter. “And, my hope is that President Obama would not do so.”
In addition, the former president of the United States noted that in the perception of Russia and the United States there is a serious difference in the assessment of the manner in which Ukraine had a change of government in 2014:
“There is a problem with the interpretation of what happened then in Kiev, with the removal of the President and then selecting another. And the issue is not fully resolved. From the point of view of the Americans, the arrival of the president of Poroshenko was par for the course in accordance with the law, but I have to say that the interpretation of these events for President Putin is quite different.”
Jimmy Carter’s visit to Moscow on April 27-29 was with several other members of the “Elders”(The Elders). This is combination of world-famous public figures with experience of peaceful settlement of conflicts and the protection of human rights in crisis situations, which was founded by former South African President Nelson Mandela in 2007.
Currently, the group consists of 12 people, headed by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Information about the meeting is published on the website of the President of the Russian Federation (Meeting with participants of the “Elders”) and on the online page of the association (The Elders conclude three-day visit to Moscow).