Vadym Kolesnichenko: I Can Wear Traditional Ukrainian Shirt But I Will Always Speak in Russian

"In Europe, we are considered untermensch, second or third rate people and they are not hiding it (...). Do you want me to show you how bruised my legs are after the fight? Where did the bruises come from? I do not care who beat me! My right was violated, I was insulted. (...) I sing Ukrainian songs. Especially during drinking and feasting.”

The value of Vadym Kolesnichenko to the Party of Regions has increased with nationalist Svoboda party getting into the parliament. The parliament needs truly crazy ones. And we could see from the first session days that there will be a lot of craziness and madness in the new Rada. In conversation with Censor.NET Vadym Kolesnichenko asked not to make him out to be a flamboyant guy and denied any similarity with Svoboda. However, we managed to find some common ground for them: the Regions deputy is confident that the nationalists will soon vote for one of his bills.

"They always try to make me out to be a flamboyant guy"

- Today (the interview took place on 11 January on the day of Rada session) in his address your fellow party member Tihipko reiterated that the only vector of Ukraine - is a vector of European integration. You stand for union with Russia. The Party of Regions has two groups - one in favor of European integration and the other for the Customs Union?

- I absolutely comply with the law on foreign and domestic policies. It says that the strategic direction is European integration, but a strategic partnership with the Russian Federation has not been cancelled. Tihipko made this decree (in favor of European integration) by himself. The faction did not discuss it. And I'll be expressing my own point of view.

- So you will not support it?

- I will support it in case that there will be a criteria called multi-vector. If this project does not have matters related to the integration with the Russian Federation and the interpenetration of economies I will not vote for such a bill. This is a matter of principle, and no one will make me vote differently.

- Are you for Ukraine's accession to the Customs Union?

- I'm a pretty pragmatic person, but they always try to make out to be some flamboyant or outrageous guy. It makes no sense today in this parliament to talk about joining the Customs Union because we will not be able to vote it. It is the creation of a supranational authority. It requires constitutional changes. The same goes for the European Union (changes in the Constitution require 2/3 of the votes).

- Do you think that it is impossible to join the Customs Union in the near future?

- Today we are ready to join under individual protocols, and this work is underway. One must be very narrow-minded person or simply wish harm to Ukraine to be against it. For example, we have in just two years tripled the trade with Russia. The trade with Europe has not increased. Our products are not competitive in Europe.

"Russia is behaving like a big brother rather than partner '

- Your position, in short is "It would be nice to join the Customs Union, but we can't?"

- Not really. I would like for us to have fair relations with Russia. Not of an older and younger brother but of two partners.

- That is, Russia is behaving like a big brother, and you would like to see this attitude change?

- Yes. There is the matter of gas. I understand that Russia is a powerful player. And we need to find ways to negotiate. I understand the reason for this. Why does it not infuriate me? Because for five years we have poured Russia with pigwash. We - that is the Ukrainian state, politicum who headed the country. Quite naturally, there was alienation and rejection. Now the process is moving - slowly but surely. Can we work with them? And we have no other choice. CIS market is $ 150 billion, today we are covering around 60-70 and can double the turnover. And with Europe we can't. We need to live and survive today. Strategically, of course, we can think about European integration. We begin to work with Russians, we get the funds, the time to increase the quality of our products. Then we can enter the EU market strong.

- In the future do you see Ukraine in the EU or in the Union with Russia?

- I doubt that we will join the European Union. It is a far away goal. It is the standard. I am very careful regarding all kinds of unions, especially those where you need to delegate some powers.

- So you are just standing on guard of Ukrainian independence.

- Any normal person is trying to fight for this. What I like in the European integration aspirations: a basic package of social security and tools for the protection of human rights. But to get there, it is not necessary to join. For me it is enough that I go there regularly, I study the experience of these countries. I am learning this, and am through the submitted bills introduce European experience. The issue of visa-free entry? It is not necessary to join the European Union for that. If you sign the Agreement - go ahead. With Russia I see the economic perspective, something that I can touch and feel. With Europe, I do not feel it, because six years of experience objectively show that we are considered untermensch. We are considered as second or third grade and it is not hidden.

After a fight in the parliament my legs were all bruised

- In this convocation of the parliament a resonant fight with your participation occured. Do you think that all's fair in a parliamentary brawl?

- I do believe that there should be no fighting at all. It's just that a group of hooligans came who stated that they would force the order in the parliament. A few days ago I heard Udar deputy's speech. I thought at first that he was crazy. Then I heard that he is a deputy. I listened more carefully. He said: people gave us the mandate to defend the interests of Ukrainians using force. I do not remember anyone entitling a deputy with a right to use force when voting for him.

- Let me elaborate on the question: You were accused of kicked deputy Medunitsa from the opposition who was down on the floor at that time.

- Do you want me to show you how bruised my legs are after the fight? Where did the bruises come from? What is this, some kind of a Code? This is low… But if they decided to fight - let's fight. I give adequate answer to events. There is no playing democracy or chivalry here.

- So he hit you, you hit him?

- (Annoyed) Yes, and I frankly do not care who hit me! My rights were violated my right, I was insulted. Another issue that in the past three convocation the conflicts have became tougher. And it can lead to either death or severe injury. Only then it will stop.

I do not doubt the fact that Svoboda will vote for my bill

- You have registered a bill to ban the promotion of homosexuality among minors. Do you think that this is a very relevant issue for the country today? Where do you see this propaganda?

- Very relevant! It is a matter of erosion of the people's basic spirituality. The family is the center of Ukraine. Europe and America have already gone through sexual revolution. They are very sensitive today regarding the family. They are trying to rebuild what was destroyed in this unbridled euphoria of permissiveness. And we want to take the same path through the seven circles of hell. I was shown unbelievable books: interactive tools for teaching children in kindergarten, recommended by the Ministry of Education. Questions for the boy: why do you want to be a girl, why is it better to be a girl? And the girls were asked the alternative question. Why would you ask a 3-5-year-old child a question like that? If you need to develop the flexibility of thought you can discuss why iron sinks, and wood doesn't. Why choose such a delicate topic? What sex views should be discussed at school? State is responsible for you until you are 18. You turn 18 - and then who you sleep with is your own business. Wait till you are 18 and you'll get what you want.

- Your position on this issue is identical to the position of Svoboda. Do you want to join forces - to submit a joint bill, for example?

- Spontaneous joint voting is possible, but a joint bill... It's too much. So far it is hard to communicate with anyone from Svoboda. The guys have just got off the street, and how will they explain to their constituents that they are communicating with "the enemy and Ukrainophobic person"? Although in two previous convocations we have done joint work with the opposition. But that requires parliamentary experience and understanding that it's not the flag that resolves certain issues. And do not doubt the fact that they will vote for my bill.

I love Ukrainian drinking songs

- Your colleague deputy Moskal said that in 1997, in Crimean Parliament you were wearing an embroidered traditional shirt (vyshyvanka) and spoke only in Ukrainian. You refuted this statement. You could not wear these clothes?

Of course, I can wear an embroidered shirt! I know the Ukrainian language and did not hesitate to use both languages in the parliament. I do not have a problem with this. And even more so - when a person not from the authorities addresses me in Ukrainian I reply in Ukrainian. But after the events instigated by Svoboda (during speeches of deputies in Russian the opposition chants 'Ukrainian'), I will now speak only in my native Russian on principle, at any cost. Because it is a question of my freedoms and liberties of people who are guided by me. By the way, Svoboda has played a very bad joke on itself because before these events someone could say why do we fume - we are not forbidden to speak in Russian, but now they got their answer. Even with the law which allows me to speak Russian they physically try to silence me. And if there will be more of them? Then there will be concentration camps and gallows. Thank you Svoboda - the people got angry, and are now mobilizing and are aware of the genie released from the bottle.

- And you say you sing drinking Ukrainian songs? Do you read modern Ukrainian literature?

- Of course I sing Ukrainian songs. Especially drinking songs.

- What are your favorites?

- About horses, Cossacks, Volyn. I hardly read modern Ukrainian literature. I like classics - Franko is very interesting. Ostracized by his lot and for favoring Poland and Moscow. Now people forget how he was accused of everything. And the same goes for Lesia Ukrainka. She, in fact, wrote in Russian, too. And Shevchenko! I was always wildly amused, when I tell these pseudo patriots that Shevchenko is a Russian language writer and poet. I have started carrying his collected works to these dog fights you call TV shows. In response they start whistling.

Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/r229942
Source: Interview conducted by Vitalii Krivoruchko, photos by Natalia Sharomova, Censor.NET