CNBC News Releases

CNBC Transcript: Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk Speaks with CNBC Today

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Ukrainian Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk today on CNBC. Following is a link to the interview on

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

Steve Sedgwick: Given events on the ground in Crimea, the reality this is a majority ethnicity, would it be better for a broader peace with Russia to accept the what's happening there, given the fact there's a referendum there on the 16th and it's very likely they will vote to cede from Ukraine to join the Russian Fed - would that be the best scenario to get over this chapter?

Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk: There will be no referendum. It is absolutely and entirely illegitimate. No one will recognise this referendum, possibly except North Korea, probably Syria or Venezuela and I want to be very clear. Crimea, was, is and will be an integral part of Ukraine. No concessions. Full stop.

Sedgwick: So you talked about diplomatic efforts. Mr. Lavrov and Mr. Kerry have come away with nothing. Mr. Putin and Mr. Obama appear to have come away with nothing as well. Mr. Medvedev won't talk to you yet. What can your government do to prove its legitimacy given their issues with the removal of Mr. Yanukovych and the failures since then of your government to be recognised by Moscow?

Yatsenyuk: This is the government that was approved and supported by an overwhelming constitutional majority of the Ukrainian House. 371 votes. I can hardly remind this kind of support in the Ukrainian history. This government is represented by minorities, by different communities, by people with different records, and different origins. This government represents national unity. And the opposition, which is the party for regions, supported this government and supported the governmental programme. So I would like to reiterate that we urge the Russian president to pull back forces, not to support separatists and terrorists, and to start real talks with the Ukrainian government and to accept this.

Sedgwick: But there's nothing you, sir can do to get the Russians to the table? There's nothing that appears that Obama can do, that the EU can do at the moment, to get the Russians to the table with you until we get them agreeing --

Yatsenyuk: We've started this process. Don't be in a hurry!

Sedgwick: So here is some progress?

Yatsenyuk: There's no negative implications I will say. Not as bad as we expected and not good as we need to do this.

Sedgwick: And finally sir, if I may, there are a lot of questions about the European Union response. About France's deals with Russia, about Russian money in London, about German investment - is this preventing further action from the EU?

Yatsenyuk: I'm not sure I can respond on the side of the EU - but I can just quote the EU decision: 'The solution to the crisis should be found through negotiations between the Ukrainian government and Russia. In the absence of such results, the European Union will decide on additional measures such as travel bans, asset freezes and the cancellation of the EU-Russia summit.'

It seems to me this is a very strong signal which was made by a unanimous decision of EU member states.

About CNBC:

With CNBC in the U.S., CNBC in Asia Pacific, CNBC in Europe, Middle East and Africa, CNBC World and CNBC HD, CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news and provides real-time financial market coverage and business information to approximately 371 million homes worldwide, including more than 100 million households in the United States and Canada. CNBC also provides daily business updates to 400 million households across China. The network's 16 live hours a day of business programming in North America (weekdays from 4:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. ET) is produced at CNBC's global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and includes reports from CNBC News bureaus worldwide. CNBC at night is the all new CNBC Prime featuring a mix of new reality programming, CNBC's highly successful series produced exclusively for CNBC including "American Greed" and "Crime Inc." and a number of distinctive in-house documentaries.

CNBC also has a vast portfolio of digital products which deliver real-time financial market news and information across a variety of platforms. These include, the online destination for global business; CNBC PRO, the premium, integrated desktop/mobile service that provides real-time global market data and live access to CNBC global programming; and a suite of CNBC Mobile products including the CNBC Real-Time iPhone and iPad Apps.

Members of the media can receive more information about CNBC and its programming on the NBC Universal Media Village Web site at