Michael Ignatieff, the grandson of Russia's last tsarist education minister, journalist, politician, former rector and president of the Budapest-based Central European University reveals in an exclusive interview with N1 his views of the war in Ukraine, whether Putin will leave soon, why the West is dormant, could Orban leave? Ignatieff conveyed a message to the West saying it is about time to stop the destabilisation of the Balkans that is being conducted through Milorad Dodik and Aleksandar Vucic.
“When I hear Vladimir Putin denying the reality of Ukraine as a state and as a people, I feel some very uncomfortable echoes. And I am sure that people in Bosnia will remember the times when their reality as a culture, as a religion, as a faith was denied by their enemies,” he said, adding that this is leading to very bad things.
“It's clear that Mr Putin wants to recreate the Russian empire of my ancestors, but the language he is using justifying an invasion on the grounds that he has to liberate the Russian minority in Ukraine from Nazi genocide is a grotesque perversion of one thing of the Soviet experience that everybody admires, which is that the Soviets defeated Hitler and defeated and liberated the concentration camps,” said Ignatieff.
“So, there is a terrible perversion of the history, not merely the Russian empire but of the Soviet Union going on. And it is being used to justify the murder of the people. Needless to say, like Bosnians, like anybody in Europe, I oppose it to the bottom of my soul,” he added.
According to him, a potential peace agreement for Ukraine will be terrible and disappointing, just like the one for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“I fear in the case of Putin, if he is forced to conclude peace, he'll come back for another try. I think we're in a decade of global instability and insecurity. IT's going to be very, very difficult,” he noted.
Asked about the relations between Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik and Putin, as well as the close ties between Putin and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic
“I think it's clear that both Vucic in Serbia and Dodik in Republika Srpska (Bosnia's Serb-majority entity) derive encouragement from Lavrov and Putin. And if Lavrov and Putin are in trouble, and I think they are, than it has a restraining effect on both of these two politicians. So I can only hope that this restrains both of them from various forms of adventurism, which are dangerous,” said Ignatieff.
Watch the entire interview in the video below: