Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:5AM
Protesters during unrest in Kiev, Ukraine, February 20, 2014
Protesters during unrest in Kiev, Ukraine, February 20, 2014

If the United States succeeds in its attempts to overthrow the Kiev government, eastern and western Ukraine may secede and may likely drag the US and Russia into a war, says a former US official, Press TV reports.

“If Washington succeeds in overthrowing the Ukrainian government, the eastern and southern provinces are likely to secede,” wrote Paul Craig Roberts, who is a former assistant secretary of the US Treasury for economic policy, in an article Press TV’s website on Friday.

He was referring to the public political orientations in western and eastern Ukraine, mainly inclined toward the West and Russia respectively, and said, “If secession becomes a civil war instead of a peaceful divorce, Russia would not be able to sit on the sidelines” because Moscow considers the possible establishment of NATO bases near its territory a “strategic threat.”

“As the Washington warmongers would be backing western Ukraine, the two nuclear powers would be thrown into military conflict,” Craig Roberts said.

Ukraine has been seeing anti-government protests since President Viktor Yanukovych refrained from signing an Association Agreement with the European Union on November 29, 2013, in favor of closer ties with Russia.

Radical anti-government elements in Ukraine have turned the protests into an armed struggle, disrupting security in the country, mainly in the capital, Kiev.

Since February 18, clashes between the armed protesters and Ukrainian security forces have resulted in 77 fatalities, according to Ukraine’s Health Ministry. The number of the people injured in the clashes has also been put at over 500.

Craig Roberts pointed to comments by US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland on December 13, 2013, who, according to Craig Roberts, has said Washington has spent “$5 billion” to foment agitation to bring Ukraine into the European Union.

“Nuland’s speech failed to alert the Ukraine protesters, who are ‘determined’ to destroy the independence of Ukraine and to place their country in the hands of the IMF (the International Monetary Fund) so that it can be ‘looted’ like Latvia, Greece and every country that ever had an IMF structural adjustment program,” the former US official said.

This comes as clashes reportedly continued between Ukrainian police and protesters in Kiev despite an initial deal between the government and the opposition to resolve the ongoing crisis.

While President Yanukovych announced a deal with the opposition to end the country’s weeks-long crisis, clashes erupted between anti-government protesters and Ukrainian police forces near Kiev’s Independence Square on Friday.