Klymenko in an interview with Radio Vesti
Valerii KALNYSH: Special news is that we have managed to contact Oleksandr Klymenko. Let me remind you – he is a former Minister of Revenue and Duties of Ukraine, who is now on a wanted list, and whom today the Ukrainian Security Service accused in financing of events in Odessa, in the result of which, I’ll remind, at least 40 people were killed. Oleksandr, hello! Are you with us?
Oleksandr KLYMENKO: Good afternoon!
Valery KALNYSH: Good afternoon again! Oleksandr Viktorovych, in the first place, I cannot help asking you – well, it is your right whether to answer or not – you are outside Ukraine now, right?
Oleksandr KLYMENKO: Yes, indeed, I am outside Ukraine. It is for reasons of my safety.
Valerii KALNYSH: You will not name the country, I believe.
Oleksandr KLYMENKO: Surely, I won’t.
Valerii KALNYSH: Oleksandr Viktorovych, of course, I have the first question. How would you comment on today’s statement by the Security Service of Ukraine?
Oleksandr KLYMENKO: This is pure nonsense. I categorically declare that there is not a jot of truth in this statement. I was just shocked by the statement of SSU. I want to stress once again that I have nothing to do with financial matters and support, which SSU imputes in its statement. I have other questions. Does the current government have right to squander such unfounded, unsubstantiated allegations? Where is the evidence?
Why the statement is made via press service? The authorities are afraid to take responsibility not only for the situation in Odessa and in other regions, but already today they are afraid to bear responsibility for their own words. If the government is afraid of their own words – I am not. I responsibly declare: the blame for the bloody Friday in Odessa lies entirely on current government. It was their inaction, incompetence and, perhaps, even deliberate actions that have led to terrible tragedy in Odessa.
They were not able to establish order and to save human lives. Now, instead of kneeling at the feet of relatives, asking for their forgiveness, they are trying to find guilty persons and to disclaim all completeness of their responsibility. One should face the consequences and not to cowardly hide behind false accusations, and press service statements.
Valerii KALNYSH: Oleksandr Viktorovych, I think that hiding…
Vasilisa FROLOVA, radio host: And who is cowardly hiding?
Valerii KALNYSH: The thing is, I think they could have presented you accusations if you were on the territory of Ukraine. How do you think, why the events in Odessa have been related with you? And there was another accusation against Mr. Arbuzov. Why Odessa? Why not any other events? We are conducting an anti-terrorist operation. Financing issues…probably in the eastern regions too. Why Odessa?
Oleksandr KLYMENKO: You know, there is absolutely no logic in this. Today it is really the point that our country, Ukraine, has passed. And it’s a pain in everyone’s heart. And today it is necessary to give answers to the public. And the only logical explanation, if it can be called a logical explanation, is the fact that prosecutor’s office has recently made those stupid accusations of fraud, and now they have decided to take advantage of a newsworthy event and to draw parallels. But I will say it again: this statement defies logic, because there is not a jot of truth.
Valerii KALNYSH: Maybe, in such a way, I suspect, we are talking here about some kind of … Well, I’m sure you still have some assets in Ukraine, which, probably, they are trying to block in such a way. Or there are no assets left at all?
Oleksandr KLYMENKO: I have never had and I don’t have any assets. There are, however, different conversations, speculation about this. But I will say it again: business of people who are related to me – it is all transparent and it is very clearly visible. And of course, I will say once again, no one – neither I nor any of my hostages to fortune, nor Mr. Arbuzov, who is also mentioned – have nothing to do with this terrible event that happened. I say again: the government should take responsibility rather than pointing fingers of blame. And, of course, using this air, if I may, I want to express my deepest condolences to friends and families of the victims. This is a pain for every Ukrainian. And I appeal to the nation: Ukrainians, no matter what language you speak, no matter what views you share, human lives – are above all. Come to your senses! Today you are being manipulated. That power, which today is manipulating you, I want to appeal to them: a trial awaits you. And in addition, there is the divine scourge ahead of you. It is important to understand. One cannot cross these boundaries.
Valerii KALNYSH: I understood. What concerns the court… Are there any… Well, under what circumstances you will be able to return to the country to prove your innocence here, in Ukraine?
Oleksandr KLYMENKO: I will maintain my innocence on an on-going basis, and I have already started to do so. Starting today and starting with business days there will be lawyers, there will be foreign lawyers, who will come and who will look into a matter. Unfortunately, today I, myself, cannot be present because there is a risk to my safety. And I want to have a chance to defend myself. And for me it is important that justice remains justice today and is not manipulated by some people for political reasons. And today’s statement of the SSU – is a striking confirmation of the fact that there is nothing sacred today for the current government. They are ready to manipulate any facts, just in order to deceive the consciousness of our citizens. And today they are not thinking about life, today they are thinking about their self interest, political ambitions and about some odd electoral campaigns, which they are now trying to build on the blood. And I am telling you: stop, this is wrong.
Valerii KALNYSH: Oleksandr Viktorovych, now, probably, the last question. Do I understand it correctly that your lawyers are ready to file and will file a lawsuit against the Security Service of Ukraine after the holidays? What will you demand from the Security Service, if such lawsuit appears?
Oleksandr KLYMENKO: I demand truth and investigation. First of all, withdrawal of false charges. Secondly – the truth. I, as the citizen of Ukraine, I want to know who is behind all this. And I want those people to be punished. I will do everything in my power, through my lawyers, my lawsuits to Ukrainian courts, lawsuits to foreign courts, to seek this truth. And, taking advantage of the moment, through you I want to address the Media, which are now very actively disseminating the false news of the Security Service of Ukraine. I am asking, pursuant to those highest standards of journalism, which we have repeatedly discussed, and that have been repeatedly declared by journalists, please turn the spotlight on my point of view, so that I could be heard. This is my request to all independent journalists, patriots of Ukraine
Valerii KALNYSH: In this case, I think that there will be such an opportunity. Your opinion has been provided, your opinion has been heard. But at the same time, false… Well, it is not proven yet in court, so neither SSU statement, nor charges against you are false, it is just a piece of news so far. Isn’t it?
Oleksandr KLYMENKO: No, this is a false accusation. It damages my reputation. Nobody has abolished the presumption of innocence. I will say it again: this a purposeful political order, which rides roughshod over human life, I do not even speak about anything else. This is outrageous.
Valerii KALNYSH: I then … Perhaps I will repeat myself. There is this certain goal, pursued by the authorities making such statements, like the one that has been made today? What is this goal? If you have no assets, you are outside the country than how does it threaten you? Why then do they do it?
Oleksandr KLYMENKO: I am telling you once again, the authorities are panicing, there is no logic in their words. Once again I am reiterating. And today … After all, what happened yesterday? Well, this is not just an ordinary event. And, in fact, it is not about only yesterday. What happened yesterday was a point of no return. And am I saying once again, how different are those people who came out, and now they are not there anymore today. Today, coffins will be standing in every yard of Odessa. And it’s a pain for everyone. As well as everything what is happening in the south-east. Therefore, the authorities need to find an image of the enemy today. That’s all. Who cares about the logic. What is important is the image of an enemy. And here is the image of the enemy – Mr. Arbuzov and Mr. Klymenko. And riding on this wave, they are hoping that we will remain silent, inactive, and that this wave will pass on and save them. Today, they should be held accountable. Who gave the order to shoot people today? Who is responsible for punitive operations today? It is their responsibility. And I am telling you again, there is no statute of limitations for such crimes. And having covered themselves by some informational attack against us today, they will not save themselves tomorrow. It is a lie that is groundless. And there is no sense in looking for grounds.
Valerii KALNYSH: Thank you so much. Let me remind you that today’s interlocutor on air was Oleksandr Klymenko, ex-Minister of Revenue and Duties of Ukraine, who is now on a wanted list, whom today the Security Service of Ukraine has accused in involvement in the events in Odessa. Mr. Klimenko himself denies this involvement
Vasilisa FROLOVA, radio host: In their turn, over these 15 minutes our listeners responded very violently to this live broadcast. And they expressed their clear dissatisfaction with the fact that we have given Oleksandr 15 minutes of our air.
Valerii KALNYSH: In this case, our work – is news. And in this case it was an exclusive. We can treat it in different ways, but either way – it’s news.
Vasilisa FROLOVA, radio host: Absolutely.
Link to source: Radio Vesti
Photo: by press-service of Oleksandr Klymenko