MOSCOW, July 13. /TASS/. Another change of regime in Ukraine is imminent and many ousted politicians will be able to return home, Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said in an interview with the Izvestia daily.
“The situation is rolling to an early end of the Pyotr Poroshenko regime. Changes are around the corner,” he said, adding that as soon as the regime is changed many politicians who had to flee Ukraine would be able to return.
“Naturally, I want to return. I have certain plans to return in any case,” he noted.
The former prime minister stressed he cares little about his possible posts but what is of great concern for him is constitutional order in Ukraine. “I don’t think about any posts but I want constitutional order to be reestablished in Ukraine so that I can return not fearing political persecution I and my friends and colleagues are facing today. So far, I cannot do it legally,” Azarov noted.
Nikolai Azarov was Ukraine Prime Minister from March 11, 2010 till January 28, 2014. He left the country after the ‘maidan’ [the term ‘maidan’ was coined after Kiev’s central Independence Square, or Maidan Nezalezhnosti, to refer to anti-government riots] developments in February 2014. On February 4, 2015, he presented in Moscow his book Ukraine At The Crossroads where he wrote about his vision of the causes of the confrontation that resulted in a state coup in Ukraine.
Since August 2015, he has been heading the Ukraine Salvation Committee.
In December 2016, he appeared at Moscow Dorogomilovsky district court, which considered a suit filed by former lawmaker of the Verkhovna Rada Vladimir Oleinik who demanded the 2014 developments in Ukraine be recognized as a state coup. According to Azarov, the 2014 maidan events were geared to realize the anti-Russia project in Ukraine, to exterminate political forces that stood for Ukraine’s neutrality and its economic and trade cooperation with Russia. In his words, it was obvious already on January 22, 2014 that it was an attempt to seize power.
After the Moscow court ruled to recognize the 2014 events in Ukraine as a state coup, Azarov vowed that his Ukraine Salvation Committee “would take further steps” and would go to international courts.
Meanwhile in Ukraine, Azarov is facing criminal charges of misappropriation of funds as he had been allegedly overpaid retirement allowances in a period from 2008 to 2014. In August 2015, criminal charges were brought against Azarov, Oleinik and Igor Markov for calls to seize power in the country.
State coup in Ukraine
On November 21, 2013, a week ahead of the anticipated signing of an association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union at an Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, the then Ukrainian government announced “suspension of the process of preparations” for the signing of that agreement.
It provoked mass riots in central Kiev that ultimately resulted in a three-month standoff, commonly knowns as ‘maidan,’ on Kiev’s central Independence Square, or Maidan Nezalezhnosti. Protesters seized a number of administrative buildings and set up the so-called armed ‘self-defense’ forces which plunged into open confrontation with law enforcers. On February 20, 2014, as many as 53 people were killed by unidentified snipers in Institutskaya Street in central Kiev. The Azarov government resigned, the then president, Viktor Yanukovich, fled the country and opposition factions in the Verkhovna Rada took power. On February 22, 2014, the Verkhovna Rada passed a resolution on the president’s self-removal from power and appointed early presidential elections in May 2014, which were won by Pyotr Poroshenko.