The Interview – ‘Putin is a global problem, not just for Ukraine,’ Kyiv foreign minister tells FRANCE 24

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Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba expressed confidence that Ukraine would win the war against the invading force of Russia, in an interview with FRANCE 24. Speaking in Brussels a few days ahead of the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion, the top Ukrainian diplomat explained why he thinks President Vladimir Putin represents a global threat for the international community, saying that the Russian president’s strategy was “destruction and undermining stability”. Kuleba added, “No one is interested in having a UN Security Council member and a nuclear power messing up the world.” 

Kuleba criticised those in the West raising concerns that the Russians are gaining the upper hand on the battlefield.

He said that Ukraine needs “weapons, sanctions, money and solidarity”, urging each country to choose how to show solidarity.

Kuleba argued that the process to deliver combat tanks to Ukraine was “on track” and that it was only a matter of “weeks” until they are delivered. With regard to fighter jets, he claimed he had “no doubt” that they would also be supplied. 

According to Kuleba, Putin means trouble not only for Ukraine, but for the world. He cited the Balkans, the Central African Republic and Syria as places where Putin was implementing his strategy, namely “destruction and undermining stability”.

Asked about calls by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz not to humiliate Putin and keep channels open with him, Kuleba replied that he had not heard such calls “for many months”.

On the issue of regime change in Moscow, he said that only Russians should decide who should lead their country. However, he added, “the question is how to make the people of Russia understand that Putin is also their problem, and their life will be much better without him.”

Ukraine, one year on
Ukraine, one year on © Studio graphique France Médias Monde

The Ukrainian foreign minister said he was “looking forward” to seeing the mediation proposal announced by China. He added, however, that there were “certain red lines” for both Ukraine and China, first and foremost “the unconditional respect of territorial integrity of countries”. As for US warnings that China was seriously considering sending lethal aid to Russia, he warned that if any country sent weapons to Russia, it would be acting against the respect of territorial integrity.

Finally, the top Ukrainian diplomat expressed hope that more countries from the Global South would vote in favour of Ukraine in a vote on a UN General Assembly resolution this week to mark the first anniversary of the Russian invasion. Previous votes have seen a number of African countries abstain from voting.

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