Putin cannot be dissuaded with diplomacy alone, argues former Ukrainian diplomat
Anti-tank missile shipments from the UK and other kinds of international support are vital in deterring Russian aggression, former Ukrainian Ambassador to France and the United States Oleh Shamshur said in an interview with NV.Radio on Jan. 19.
“Some argue that we ought not annoy (Russia’s President Vladimir) Putin, but I vehemently disagree,” said Shamshur.
“On the contrary, we need to demonstrate that, together with our partners, we are not intimidated by him, and are getting the aid necessary to repel an invasion.”
According to the diplomat, besides harsh sanctions and diplomatic efforts, military aid is a crucial element in stopping Moscow’s violent advances in their tracks, and in his view, diplomacy alone cannot protect Ukraine.
Shamshur’s comments came on the same day U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a short visit to Ukraine to assure Kyiv of U.S. support in the face of Russian aggression.
After visiting Kyiv on Jan. 19, Blinken left for visits to Germany and Switzerland, in hopes of deterring Russia from renewing its invasion of Ukraine, or from further escalating the ongoing crisis by some other means.
“Given that a meeting between Blinken and Germany’s foreign minister is the centerpiece of his trip, they clearly are going to discuss new sanctions against Russia, most notably – sanctions related to Nord Stream-2 (natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany),” Shamshur said.
In Kyiv, Blinken met with Ukrainian officials and discussed the looming threat of another Russian invasion of Ukraine and possible Western retaliation.
If Moscow chooses to go down the path of further escalation, Russia’s economy will bear “devastating costs” due to Western sanctions, Blinken said.
He also announced additional $300 million of military aid to Ukraine in 2022.
The secretary is expected to meet with his counterpart, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, on Jan. 21 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Currently, over 100,000 Russian troops are estimated to be deployed on the Russian-Ukrainian border and in Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories, reports Ukrainian intelligence.
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google News