Putin’s “ultimate goal is to destroy Ukraine,” Ukrainian foreign minister tells CNN

Ukraine’s International Minister Dmytro Kuleba. (Carolyn Kaster/Pool/AP)

Ukrainian Minister of International Affairs Dmytro Kuleba says he is aware of what Russian President Vladimir Putin’s long-term goal is.

Putin “needs the concept of the Ukrainian statehood to fail. That is his goal.”

Kuleba’s feedback come someday after President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into separatist-held parts of jap Ukraine and signed decrees recognizing the independence of the Moscow-backed areas.

“What I do know for sure, and this was eloquently proved, regretfully, in his deal with yesterday, is that he hates [the] Ukrainian statehood, he believes that Ukraine has no proper to exist,” Kuleba mentioned of Putin. 

US President Joe Biden on Tuesday described Russia’s maneuverings in Ukraine as “the start of a Russian invasion.” Biden introduced what he labeled “the first tranche of sanctions” to punish Moscow, together with on two giant monetary establishments, Russian sovereign debt and Russian elites and their members of the family. 

Although Kuleba helps the sanctions as laid out by Biden, calling them an “essential” message, he maintains they’re inadequate because the state of affairs stands now.

“No sanctions can be sufficient till Russian boots withdraw from Ukrainian soil,” mentioned Kuleba on CNN. “That is [the] basic precept, that we’ve got to maintain placing stress on Russia and we in Ukraine proceed from the actual fact that the sanctions introduced at present by President Biden is simply the starting of the method of deterring president Putin and making him withdraw.”

On the subject of particular forthcoming sanctions, Kuleba advised no single choice or chance ought to be left off the worldwide desk.

“We would like each instrument obtainable for use with a view to cease Putin,” he mentioned. “If the value of saving a rustic is probably the most, harshest sanctions attainable, then we should always go for the harshest sanctions attainable.”

Whereas Kuleba advised Tapper that the shifting of Russian troops into the Ukrainian-controlled elements of the Donbas area would mark one other crossing of a line by Putin, he famous that the continuing battle manifests itself alongside a mess of fronts.

“We must always pay attention to the straightforward reality: that is hybrid warfare. Russia can assault bodily, but in addition Russian can assault us in our on-line world … We’re in a dialogue with companions together with the US concerning the identification of those crimson strains which can be responded with sanctions,” he mentioned, including, “I wish to make it clear that we’ve got to prepare to behave in a really swift method as a result of the state of affairs can change actually each hour.”

Requested by Tapper to elucidate why the US — which sits 1000’s of miles from Ukraine — should be invested within the battle, Kuleba pointed to a few key elements.

  • “First, in 1994 Ukraine deserted its nuclear arsenal which was the third in dimension on the planet … We deserted it in return for safety ensures issued in specific by the US. We have been promised that if anybody assaults us, the US could be amongst international locations who will be serving to us.”
  • “Second, what is occurring in Ukraine just isn’t solely about Ukraine. President Putin challenges Euro-Atlantic order. If the West fails in Ukraine, the following goal of Putin can be one of many NATO members on its jap flank.”
  • “Third, if Putin succeeds in Ukraine, different gamers throughout the globe who wish to change guidelines, who wish to bypass the United States, they’ll see that this is feasible, that the West is incapable of defending what it stands for.”

In summing up his clarification as to why the US involvement within the battle is acceptable, Kuleba mentioned: “All in all … People ought to be taken with holding the world order because it stands and the way forward for this order is being determined proper now in Ukraine.”

Learn extra concerning the CNN interview with the Ukrainian overseas minister here.

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