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Ihor Liski: "Ukraine should have at least two specific plans for Russia"

Ukraine, according to businessman and EFI Group Supervisory Board Chairman Ihor Liski, must have a strategic plan for Russia and build relations with other countries and global institutions in accordance with it. He expressed this opinion during the discussion panel "What should be the strategy of Ukraine and the world towards Russia after our Vvctory?", held as part of the New Country joint project by and EFI Group.


"Russia will not disappear as an enemy in the near future, and there will be no processes on the territory of this state that will suddenly turn it into a civilised nation. Most likely, it will remain an antagonist and will try to undermine the civilisation order around the world: today it is Ukraine, tomorrow it will be Israel, Korea or South America. We need to be ready for a true fight, co-existence and to be strong.

Given the size of our enemy, we need to prepare for a long struggle and become part of a larger force, which is why we need a strategic plan for Russia," he says.

In his opinion, there can be two scenarios.

"The first scenario is our victory. We all want and believe that when Russia loses, the elites will fall and civil processes will begin. I believe that they will collapse sooner or later. And then we need a plan, what are the red lines for us. What kind of reparations we want, who we want to see there, what kind of policy to pursue and to impose it on our partners - the European Union, NATO, the G7, maybe even the Big South, with which we are not working well so far," the businessman said.

The second scenario, he said, is more likely.

"The enemy will not go away. It will be strong, it may degrade a little, but it is still so big, it has been zombifying its society for years that it is ready to eat grass but believe in its victory. The world will be increasingly divided into the light of civilisation and the darkness of autocracy, dictatorship, and terrorism. And the second scenario should include how to coexist with Russia, how to defeat it in global institutions. How the UN should be reformed, perhaps the Security Council, how we should build relations with China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and perhaps even Iran," Liski said.

Of course, he adds, no one has cancelled our homework: we have to be strong, carry out reforms, produce our own weapons, etc.

"Let's imagine that we have won. We are the winning country. A conditional Yalta is being held. Respected people are asking us: 'Ukraine, you paid the highest price, we were just standing next to you, what should we do with Russia? And we say: 'What the fuck do we care about Russia? We have our own thing to do here!" he said.

"I think this is an inferiority complex, I'm sorry. This is not a proactive, weak position. We have to be adults. We have to put aside the inferiority complex and say, excuse me, we have a plan to deal with them. We have known them for three hundred years, we know them from the inside. We have built them, and now we are going to pack them back up. This is a proactive Ukrainian position. Why are these counter-theses? Why can't you deal with your own country and have a plan for all your neighbours, not just Russia? What about Turkey? How can we think of a strong maritime power without having plans and relations with Turkey?" he added.

It is a specific plan for Russia, says Liski, that can speed up the victory.

"We need to grow up. We need to have this plan. We need to impose it. Because if we remain silent, the next time we are called, they simply won't call us. And why should they be called? They sit and keep silent. They will sit and say: we don't need anything from Russia, let them get the hell away from us with their Russian language. This is a weak position," the businessman said.

"And I'll tell you a terrible thing: if we say, here's a plan for Russia, we are breaking it up or sorting things out, we are ready to sign it, it can bring our victory closer, then we will be given everything," he concluded.





Igor Liski, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of EFI Group

Max Trebukhov


In his opinion, there are at least three positions from which to start considering any strategic relations with Russia.

The first is membership in NATO and the EU. "We have to be in NATO and the European Union, take a proactive position in these structures, build relations with Russia not only on behalf of Ukraine, but also on behalf of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation," Liski said.

Position two is intellectual capacity.

"Once again, I return to the fact that the world does not yet have an answer to what it wants Russia to become, how to bring back the civilised component there. Everyone understands that this is a monkey with a nuclear grenade, and until we have this answer, it is difficult to predict even our victory. No one believes that Navalny will pop up somewhere and they will suddenly become normal. And the world doesn't either.

I'm not a politician, I can say banal and cynical things to land us. But I am sure that we would have much more weapons and capabilities if we offered the world a clear plan to defeat Russia. We need this simple and understandable plan for the world," said Liski.

The third position, according to Liski, is economic partnership.

"We need Poland and, it's hard to say, Turkey as great allies to cut Russia off from the civilised world. So that we, having a partnership, try to build relations with Russia from the position of strength and pressure," he said.

"And we definitely need to study Russia. I am sure that there should be a European or even a NATO centre for Russian studies in Kyiv, Ukraine. And it would be great if we had a proactive position in this regard," the businessman concluded.

Photo: Max Trebukhov

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