Ukraine’s former prime minister and current presidential contender Yevhen Marchuk returned yesterday to Kyiv from a visit to Belgrade and took a stridently pro-Serbian position. Marchuk called for Ukraine to transit Russian weapons to Serbia, should Russia decide to supply the weapons. Marchuk portrayed the Serbs as heroic victims and implied that the Russian government was not providing them with adequate support. Terming NATO’s policy “criminal,” Marchuk opined that the alliance is motivated by the goal of “depriving Russia of her last remaining seat of influence” (UNIAN, Russian agencies, April 13).
Marchuk’s background in the KGB did not prevent him from defending Ukrainian national interests during his tenure as prime minister in 1995-96. His current ostentatious pro-Serbian attitude is most likely an opportunistic gambit for the leftist and pro-Russian vote in Ukraine’s upcoming October presidential election. Marchuk has in recent months swayed between the left and the right in search of electoral allies (see the Monitor, February 23).–VS
UKRAINIAN-GEORGIAN-AZERBAIJANI MILITARY EXERCISE UNDERWAY.