Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Dmytro Sukhovienko: “Europe needs to take action now” in Ukraine

As Ukrainian security forces storm the opposition stronghold in Kiev's Maidan square, Ukrainian pianist Dmytro Sukhovienko attended a solidarity event to the Ukrainian democratic revolt organised by the Polish EPP MEPs.

Sukhovienko, who left Kiev in 1995 and goes back to his country "not as often as [he] would like", told us that the situation in Kiev, where 14 people have been killed so far in today's clashes, "is very dramatic" and that "everything [he] can say as an artist is nothing compared to the loss of lives there. I hope there will be no more victims."

Sukhovienko says he was "surprised" by the level of violence showed, as, he adds, "people in Ukraine are essentially kind and not aggressive at all. The people who took the streets initially demonstrate to claim the right for freedom of expression. But now, they say 'stop', things have to change".

The pianist was wearing a necktie made from the Ukrainian and the European Union flags. Did he ment that Ukraine has a European destiny? "I did not plan to wear it. But today's events in Kiev made me change my mind. As an artist, on a day like this, I think it was normal to wear those colors, as I was to play in the heart of the European democracy", says Sukhovienko.

And no matter if the EU's flag has become the symbol of "Brussels' deafness, austerity measures and complex overregulation for many European citizens: "that is not the Ukrainian people's fault", he says, "we still are dreamers and let's keep this dreaming. Let's keep the positive energy coming from the people. Maybe it's a message to the European Union. Let's continue to dream, because dreams make people go forward."

When it comes to EU's behavior, Sukhovienko is less enthusiastic: "on one side, you can see that EU's politicians care about Ukraine, some of them, amongst whom Enlargement commissioner Stefan Füle and High representative for External affairs Catherine Ashton, came many times to Kiev. This leaves the impression that Europe is listening to us. But", he adds, "Europe needs to take action now", meaning, "bringing peace talks to a higher level" — in other terms, German chancelor Angela Merkel and French president François Hollande should "come to Kiev and tell president Yanukovich 'please now stop'. This should be done as soon as possible".

Despite the apparent lack of commitment of the EU on supporting the democratic reforms in Ukraine, Sukhovienko is however "200 per cent" persuaded that "Ukraine will be in Europe". When? "Who knows. As you may have seen in the last three months, everything can happen. Even the worse. Let's just hope for the moment that there will be no more victims. Please."

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