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February 8, 2023

Ion Iliescu: Russia’s action in eastern Ukraine, a bit adventurous, but Russians have certain historic debt

Former President Ion Iliescu has characterized, on Thursday, Russia’s action in the eastern Ukraine as being “a bit adventurous”, declaring that he was surprised by Moscow’s action, but showed that Russians have a “certain historic debt” as the current territory of Ukraine hosted the first Russian state and this, probably, sparks “certain sensibilities”.

“Russians have a certain historic debt. The first Russian state was Kievskaya Rus. In a way there is this nostalgia, the fact that Kievskaya Rus with Ukraine parted from Greater Russia, probably as mentality. There was, on the other hand, a certain obligation to respect the fraternity bonds between these two peoples. This action to encourage separatism in eastern Ukraine was a bit adventurous,” said Iliescu quoted by Agerpres.

Of Russian President Vladimir Putin the former head of state stated that he is “a man of action and ambition” and showed surprise that Moscow “ventured into such a conflict”.

“Ukraine was the first area of development for the Russian state. The first form of Russian state was the Kievskaya Rus [e.n. Kievan Rus], meaning the Russian state with its capital in Kiev, which Ivan the Terrible then moved to Moscow and Peter the Great moved to Petrograd [e.n. – St. Petersburg]. So Ukraine is a part of the Russian history. Probably this is what sparks many sensibilities, that Ukraine declared its independence, but it would’ve been natural, given this common history, to have relations of understanding, of cooperation. (…) So there is something abnormal in their approach and reaction,” Ion Iliescu explained.

Asked to comment on the statements of the Allied Land Command of NATO, General Ben Hodges, who said that Russia is trying to gain control of the mouths of the Danube, Iliescu claimed that the interest for the Black Sea is “understandable for an adjacent country and a great power”.

“I hope, however, they manifest the necessary prudence in relation to all its neighbours and to Romania. I don’t believe they will afford to go further in acts and measures that would become a preoccupying factor for the area’s stability,” the former head of state pointed out.

In what regards eastern Ukraine, Ion Iliescu expressed his opinion that the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk will separate from Ukraine.

“I don’t want to go into details, but surely such a separation can be foreseen, a separation from Ukraine. This instability and estrangement in Ukraine will deepen, thus affecting the statal unity of Ukraine, which will deepen the state of conflict that was born by this conflict between Russia and Ukraine,” he stated.

On the other hand, when asked what Russia’s response will be once the NATO command centers in Eastern Europe will be established, Iliescu showed that it will be “a prudent one”.

“A given, objective situation must be taken into consideration and I don’t believe that it will afford to go further with acts such as that in Ukraine, that has already created a high factor of instability even for the former Soviet space,” Ion Iliescu concluded.


Victor Ponta should remain PSD chairman


Former head of state Ion Iliescu believes that Victor Ponta should remain Social Democratic Party (PSD) Chairman, arguing that he is young and doesn’t need a successor.

When asked who should be Ponta’s successor, in case he gave up his mandate during a PSD congress, Iliescu replied: “I don’t believe a successor is needed. He is too young for us to think about something like that. He hasn’t yet exhausted his resources… he is young.”

When asked by the journalists if Ponta should remain PSD Chairman, the former head of state reinforced: “I personally believe so.”

Former President Ion Iliescu participated at the Embassy of France on Thursday in the ceremony for awarding Senate President Calin Popescu Tariceanu with the insignia of the National Order of the Legion of Honour of France in rank of Knight.


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