Ukraine’s Zelensky considering severing diplomatic relations with Russia

22 February 2022, 04:46 PM

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he will consider a proposal to sever diplomatic relations with Russia following the Kremlin’s further invasion of Ukrainian territory.

Speaking at a press conference on Feb. 22 in Kyiv with his Estonian counterpart, Alar Karis, Zelensky said he had received the request from the Foreign Ministry and would work on this issue immediately after the press conference.

“And not only on this (issue), but also on our effective steps regarding the Russian escalation,” he said.

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The Ukrainian president said Russia’s decision to recognize the puppet authorities of the so-called “republics” and the deployment of troops in the occupied territories of the Donbas was an escalatory step by the Kremlin and an attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

“This is legal aggression, which provides a fairly solid foundation for a likely escalation from Russia and the proxy forces surrounding the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories,” Zelensky said.

“We urge Russia to resolve everything through negotiations, through dialogue.”

On Feb. 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the so-called “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk amid the looming threat of Russian invasion of Ukraine. Immediately following, Putin signed orders deploying Russian troops into Ukrainian territory.

In an address following a meeting of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council late on Feb. 22, Ukrainian President Zelensky said that recognizing the “independence” of the non-government-controlled pats of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts could mean Russia’s unilateral withdrawal from the Minsk peace agreements and renunciation of decisions taken within the Normandy format.

EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell condemned Russia’s actions and expressed support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

U.S. President Joe Biden in turn introduced sanctions against the puppet republics.

Moreover, the German government called Russia’s actions “a heavy blow to the peace settlement.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he had suspended the certification process for the Russian Nord Stream-2 pipeline, effectively preventing it from operating.

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