Number of visits by partners to Ukraine demonstrates support against Russian aggression, says Zelensky

1 February 2022, 02:16 PM

The large number of visits to Ukraine made recently by officials of foreign allies and partners shows that Ukraine has strong international support as it faces the threat of further Russian aggression, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, on Feb. 1.

The Ukrainian government is expecting to receive delegations from the UK, Poland, and the Netherlands, with the prime ministers of all three countries coming to Kyiv.

“The intensity of these visits serves as an important factor in stabilizing the government,” Zelensky said, adding, in a touch of light humor that “rumors, gossip, and the forecasts of experts, well-known bloggers and Vanga (a so-called “oracle” popular in the region) failed to come true.”

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The president said Ukrainians were in charge of their own fate and were self-reliant, but are grateful for the current outpouring of support – showing that Ukraine’s partners have her back, and would not betray the country.

Russia has been massing troops at the Russian-Ukrainian border since late October.

More than 130,000 Russian troops and offensive weapons have been deployed near Ukraine’s borders and in the temporarily occupied territories, according to the latest intelligence estimate from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

Both U.S. and European officials have expressed concern over the situation. U.S. President Joe Biden in December declared that the White House was working out “the most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin to go ahead and do what people are worried he may do.”

The proposed measures include cutting Russia off from the SWIFT international banking system, personal sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle, and a ban on U.S. dollar transactions with Russia.

On Jan. 14, the U.K.-based Guardian newspaper and the U.S.-based CNN news channel reported that Russia had positioned covert operatives in Ukraine to carry out a “false flag” operation to use as a pretext for a Russian attack.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Jan. 28 that Russia is not interested in a war, but will not allow its “security interests” to be neglected. The Kremlin demands that the United States and NATO guarantee that Ukraine will never join the alliance.

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