“The attack will cost you dearly,” warns Ukraine’s foreign diplomat

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Thursday that a possible attack on Ukraine would cost Russia dearly and cause him “political, economic and human losses”. Reuters reported. “We are not trying to guess what is going on in the head of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin,” the head of Ukrainian diplomacy said in a televised speech. “We are working to make it clear to him that any attack on Ukraine will cost him dearly, so it is better not to do it,” he added.

According to him, the main goal is to discourage Russia from “further aggressive actions”. “Moscow must clearly understand what political, economic and human losses would cause in the event of a new phase of aggression,” Kuleba said.

The head of Ukraine’s military intelligence told the Millitary Times over the weekend that Russia had gathered over 92,000 troops around the Ukrainian border and was preparing to attack in late January or early February.

The Kremlin denied it and warned against Ukraine’s “provocations.” Putin said last week that the West was lightening Moscow’s warning not to cross its “insurmountable lines.” He warned in particular against the North Atlantic Alliance’s action in the Black Sea region.

Ukraine received a large supply of Javelin anti-tank missiles from the United States, and its navy put two former US Coast Guard boats into service on Tuesday. According to Kuleba, Ukraine will receive another American vessel.

Moscow has long rejected Ukraine’s accession to NATO and has sharply criticized any strengthening of Kiev’s relations with the Alliance. The Kremlin said this week that Russia is watching Ukraine’s armaments with modern weapons from the United States with concern.

Germany is also concerned about developments on the Ukrainian-Russian border. The chancellor, who will be replaced in December by Social Democrat Olaf Scholz, said on Thursday that she regretted Putin’s reluctance to hold a summit on Ukraine until the end of her term. She added that, as in the case of Belarus, Europe is ready to impose sanctions on the crisis in Ukraine.

In addition, Merkel called the Ukrainian president about tensions between Kiev and Moscow on Thursday. “Federal Chancellor Merkel emphasized her support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and warned that it would not be without consequences if it was undermined,” said Steffen Seibert, the chancellor’s spokesman. Merkel and Zelenský also insist on progress in a peaceful solution to the conflict.

Kiev-Moscow relations have been hostile since 2014, when protests overthrew Ukrainian pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych. Russia subsequently annexed the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula and supported the armed uprising of pro-Russian separatists in Donbas. Fighting in eastern Ukraine has claimed 14,000 lives so far.

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