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Reasons for resignation, NSDC’s "hype", comparison of Zelenskyy and Poroshenko—highlights from Avakov's interview

Former Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov's interview to TV program People Against on TV channel Ukraine 24 on November 4. Photo: Facebook / Arsen Avakov

Former Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov's interview to TV program People Against on TV channel Ukraine 24 on November 4. Photo: Facebook / Arsen Avakov

Arsen Avakov, the former head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, gave an interview during the broadcast of the TV channel Ukraine 24 and explained why he had decided to resign; how the National Security Council worked and what procedure it followed when imposing sanctions, and also compared his work during the presidency of Petro Poroshenko and Volodymyr Zelenskyy. ThePage publishes the highlights.

Avakov on his resignation

The former Minister says that after more than seven years in office, he began to feel uncomfortable. He stresses that he was too "a strong and independent minister", knew how to say "no" and "did not want to take part in some things."

Zelenskyy (President Volodymyr Zelenskyy—Ed. note) invited me as a competent person who can do this difficult task. I worked for more than two years until I saw that, probably, my competence could not realize itself further. This was the reason for the resignation. I don't want to get involved in some of the things that I disagree with. I am not an easygoing person when it comes to competent and professional things. I can say no, but not everyone likes it.

Arsen Avakov

Arsen Avakov

Former Minister of Interior Affairs

Avakov on how the NSDC sanctions were adopted

The former Minister criticizes the activities of the National Security and Defense Council and points out that this agency’s "hype" turned into an apparatus for "stamping sanctions". At the same time, according to him, the National Security Council cannot at all assume the performance of the functions of the executive and judicial authorities.

Every NSDC’s meeting I came—I, a member of the NSDC, not a minor one, not the last one—I came and waited, and 5 minutes before the meeting I was given a file. I opened my file and read it carefully, then raised my head and said: "But this company was included here on the basis of what." They say, «What? Well, look, there is a notice there.» I said: «Well, I have a table full of such notices—half of them are not true, and half of them need to be finalized. On what basis is the company included here?»

Arsen Avakov

Arsen Avakov

Former Minister of Interior Affairs

Avakov stresses that Ukrainian legislation does not generally provide for the possibility of imposing sanctions against Ukrainian citizens, and especially by lots of dozens of people at a time.

Avakov on working with Poroshenko and Zelenskyy

The former Minister points out that when Poroshenko was in power, he always tried to influence him and "he did it all the time."

Much of the energy was used to fight off this, instead of creating. Petro Oleksiyovych (Poroshenko—Ed. note) had a balance in Parliament and in power. Therefore, we could talk with him very calmly. He could arrange provocations, he was constantly doing this. We then talked, looked at each other carefully, face to face, in front of other people and said: «Let's start from scratch and again.»

Arsen Avakov

Arsen Avakov

Former Minister of Interior Affairs

While working with Zelenskyy, the situation changed.

When I started working with Zelenskyy, he asked me: «How do you want to work?» I said: "So that we have a comfortable relationship, so that I can create, implement strategies, prepare something fundamental that will have an effect in five years, we must not spend everything on intrigue." But I saw it all erode into intrigue.

Arsen Avakov

Arsen Avakov

Former Minister of Interior Affairs

Avakov adds that two years later, Zelenskyy changed, became more experienced and became familiar with a number of things.

But even if Zelenskyy is a genius and gains more experience, he cannot (be familiar with everything—Ed. note). Because there is no gas, no coal. Here's $3 billion from the IMF. Buy coal and gas. Where did they spend this money? On Big Construction. We're going to freeze in winter now. The Ministers come to the President's office, and he says: "I propose something," and they: «Brilliant, this is brilliant, Mr. President! Bravo». If the infamous Avakov was sitting there, he would say: «Are you crazy?» But there are no longer those who say: «You are out of your mind!»

Arsen Avakov

Arsen Avakov

Former Minister of Interior Affairs

Context. The Verkhovna Rada approved the resignation of Arsen Avakov, Minister of Interior Affairs, on July 15, 2021.

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