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Andrey Illarionov: Putin is Carrying Out What He Thinks Is a Historic Mission to Reunite Russian Lands


Kyiv, 14 March 2014  – “Neither the sanctions, nor the statements by Western leaders can have any influence on Putin”, said Andrey Illarionov, economist, former advisor to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, at a press briefing at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

“Unfortunately, they do not understand Vladimir Putin’s psychological world. This is not an accident or a mistake that can be corrected with sanctions. In Kremlin’s understanding, this is the highest mission of uniting the separated nations. Putin is convinced that half of Ukraine is historic Russian land, and views his own actions as the implementation of this mission. Europe’s statements and sanctions are simply incommensurable”, Mr. Illarionov said.

The expert believes that in the nearest couple of hours Kyiv should make a series of fundamental decisions regarding the management of the armed forces by Ukraine’s legislative and executive authorities.

Mr. Illarionov said the unfolding events can negate the 70 years’ work done by the international community to build a system of international relations and ensure global security: “This means that no country will be able to view any other country’s promises as an assurance of its integrity and security. In this case, nuclear weapons will become the sole safeguard of security. Obtaining such weapons will become an absolutely normal, lawful objective for governments throughout the world. The rule of force will become prevalent in international relations.”

Andrey Illarionov is a senior fellow at Cato Institute in the USA. In the past he was the first deputy head of the Economic Reform Centre of the Russian Government (1992-1993), head of the Analysis and Planning Group of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers and the Government of Russia (1993-1994), advisor to the President of Russia (2000-2005). He is the President of the Institute for Economic Analysis and Member of the National Assembly of the Russian Federation.

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