I am Oleksandr Klymenko. For nine years, I served as a civil servant in Ukraine’s tax authorities, until in 2012, during Yanoukovych’s term, I was appointed to serve as the technocrat Minister of Revenues and Duties of Ukraine. I was not a political appointment, I have no party affiliation, no ideological affinity to Yanoukovych.
As a Minister I served my country and my people well. During my term, all Tax and Customs issues in the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement Action Plan were settled; we partnered with PWC and other international consultancies to develop and implement anti-corruption measures to close down many of loopholes which allowed Oligarchs to evade taxes; and significantly tightened cooperation with OLAF.
In compiling its list of persons under restrictive measures, The European Council has relied solely on information from the Ukrainian Prosecutor General with no transparency, no access to evidence, no hearings, no due process, no presumption of innocence. This has recently been recognized even by the Council itself. I could never expect a fair trial in Ukraine under the current political environment. The new administration in Ukraine is doing what every previous administration has done before it – their first order of business is the elimination of everyone who came before them. And today history is repeating itself.
In its approach as judge-jury-executioner, the EU is lending a hand to the political-cleansing of Ukraine.
I am willing and able to serve as a constructive player – both in domestic politics and in the EU-Ukraine-Russia conflict. Despite being kept out of Ukraine in person, I remain deeply involved in its politics, presenting an alternative path than Ukraine’s current leadership offers, and a voice to those citizens whose views are no longer allowed to be heard. I am also pursuing justice and will return to Ukraine without a shadow of doubt hanging over me – but not under a dirty deal.
As a native of Donbas, my first priority is reconciliation between Ukrainian people. One of the first steps toward reconciliation should be the immediate repeal of the decree from November 15th of last year, which cuts off all state services to the Donbas region. Winter is coming, and the people of Donbas need electricity, gas, clean water, medical services. Senior citizens need to receive their pensions, children need to go to school? Denying these services to the people of the region is a form of collective punishment, and it is punishing the victims. It must be stopped immediately.
In the international arena, zero-sum politics have long ruled the game between Russia and the European Union, much to Ukraine’s detriment.
I believe that Ukraine should demonstrate the possibility of peaceful coexistence of different cultures, peoples and even civilizations.
For too long Ukraine has been stuck in the middle of a geo-political tug of war between Russia and the West. As soon as we stop thinking of Ukraine as a prize or a trophy of one the sides and start thinking about what’s good for us, Ukrainians, we will be in a much better state. Internally we need to reconcile different parts of our society and I certainly believe I have an important role to play in this process.
Unfortunately, the self-preservation interests of the current leadership of Ukraine are better served by prolonging the war than by ending it. I believe the Ukrainian people are growing tired of this game, and will soon seek new leadership which is ready to move towards a solution of compromise. When this happens, they will find many eager and willing partners, myself first and foremost.