Dmytro Kuleba: Sanctions will not be enough until Russian forces leave Ukraine

“No sanctions will be enough until the Russian boots are withdrawn from Ukrainian soil,” Dmytro Kuleba told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead.”

Earlier on Tuesday, President Joe Biden He unveiled tough new sanctions to punish Moscow, describing the current events in Ukraine as “the beginning of a Russian invasion.” Kuleba said Tapper those penalties It is “just the beginning of the process of deterring President Putin and forcing him to withdraw,” adding that it “certainly will not be enough.”

Kuleba, asked by Tapper what he believed in Putin’s intentions, said on Tuesday that “Putin’s ultimate goal is the destruction of Ukraine.”

“He is not interested in parts of Ukraine. He is not even interested in keeping the whole country under his control. He wants the idea of ​​the Ukrainian state to fail,” the foreign minister continued.

Koliba met Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Washington on Tuesday. He also spoke with reporters at the State Department as well as US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken earlier today.

Blinken announced during an appearance that he had Cancel a planned meeting With Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva this week after Putin’s announcement of the invasion. The United States remains committed to diplomacy, Blinken said, “if Russia is willing to take demonstrable steps to provide the international community with any degree of confidence that it is serious about de-escalation and a diplomatic solution.”

Blinken said Putin’s remarks on Monday emphasized that “his plan was always to invade Ukraine” and that Russia’s issues with NATO were “an excuse to hide the fact that what this is about is President Putin’s view that Ukraine is not a sovereign country.”

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During his remarks at the Foreign Ministry, Kuleba said that Ukraine has no plans to evacuate Mariupol and Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine on Putin’s orders. He said his nation had two plans: diplomacy, and if that failed, it would fight to defend itself.

“Plan A is to use every diplomatic tool to deter Russia and prevent further escalation,” he said. “And if that fails, Plan B is to fight for every inch of our land, in every city and every village — to fight until we win, of course.”

Asked by Tapper later Tuesday to share his message to Americans asking why they should care, Kuleba said in part, “If Putin succeeds in Ukraine, other players around the world who want to change the rules, who want to bypass the United States, They will. We see that it is possible – that the West is not able to stand up for what it stands for.”

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