Ukraine calls on NATO countries for new sanctions against Moscow to dissuade it from aggression | International


With the tensions of the conflict increasingly electric, Ukraine on Wednesday urged NATO countries to prepare new economic sanctions to deter Russia from possible aggression. Kiev, which is not a member of the Atlantic Alliance but which is aware of being a geostrategic country for the West, believes that this measure would prevent the aggravation of an increasingly volatile crisis.

The situation has heated up in recent weeks with the concentration of around 114,000 Russian troops around its borders as Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula – considered illegal by the international community – and the conflict in Donbass last eight years. The latest war in Europe, where pro-Russian separatists are fighting with political and military support from Moscow, has already claimed some 14,000 lives, according to United Nations estimates, and displaced 1.5 million.

As Russia’s warnings escalate and plot the Kremlin’s accusations against the government of Volodymyr Zelensky, which he accuses of flirting with NATO and mobilizing half of its army in the conflict zone, the Ukrainian leader avoided entering into Moscow’s accusations and called for direct talks. with the Kremlin on Wednesday. “We must speak knowing that we have [delante] to a strong and powerful army, ”declared the Ukrainian leader in Parliament (the Rada), who insisted that he was not afraid to speak directly with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. Meanwhile, the Kremlin maintains that the conflict is an internal Ukraine problem and has defined it for years as a “civil war.”

More and more “hawks”

Zelensky, a former comedian with no political experience, swept the election two years ago on a promise to try to negotiate with Russia to resolve the conflict. Some saw him as a fragile adversary of the veteran Russian president. Since coming to power, however, the Ukrainian leader has taken positions of falcon, strong in defense. “Let us close this file, it is our country and we must fight for our territories as best as we can”, insisted Zelenski in his annual speech on the state of the nation.

The anti-corruption and pro-European mobilizations of 2013 resulted in the ouster and flight of then-President Víktor Yanukovych, an ally of the Kremlin, and led to Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula and the Donbass War. Since this turn towards the West, Moscow has tried to keep Ukraine, a former Soviet republic of 44 million inhabitants, in its sphere of influence and, above all, to prevent Kiev and NATO from strengthening their ties. In recent days, as tension rages in a latent conflict, fears in Ukraine of a new hot war have fueled.

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Moscow says it believes that Kiev could prepare an offensive to regain control of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, self-proclaimed republics. Russia has granted some 600,000 passports in these territories and a recent decree signed by Putin makes it a priority for Moscow to provide humanitarian aid and to open a market for its products. The Ukrainian government has denied having any offensive plans and views Russia’s argument as an excuse to intervene and launch a full-scale armed aggression in the Donbass.

The escalation of hostilities in recent weeks, complemented by NATO calls for warning of the Russian threat, underscores the fragility of the ceasefire that is supposed to reign along the front line in the war of l eastern Ukraine. It also shows the freezing of diplomatic agreements signed in 2015 in Minsk, mediated by France and Germany.

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