Russian aggression in Ukraine
In January 1942, Churchill said: ‘Everyone hopes if he feeds a crocodile, the crocodile will eat him later than everyone else’. There’s a place where these words are especially up-to-date, and it’s Ukraine. And under such circumstances, Russia is the crocodile. They hope if Russia is fed up, it won’t be spreading any of its influence any further. But I’d like to make you all change your minds; Russia will not be fed up. It does not believe in democracy and human rights – only in domination over the world; it just doesn’t play by the rules.
Anti-Russian sanctions and Ukraine’s opposition to the Russian aggression
Sanctions against Russia should remain in place, so that we can proceed on our way of improving things. Do not believe anyone telling you there’s no need in sanctions. We’re fighting for our territorial integrity with our own weapons. Over the last three years, we received no weaponry from abroad; however, we had fantastic trainings with British, Canadian, American and European soldiers. It was a unique exchange of experience. If it was not for sanctions, Russian tanks would be now much further in Europe than they are now. Putin stopped where he is because of the sanctions and Ukrainians struggling.
Russia and its international commitments
Russia has been breaching thousands of its commitments these days. As a member of Minsk process, I have met Putin many times, and we had a lot of discussions, together with Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel. Endless promises by Putin, and – nothing happened. No effective ceasefire, no withdrawal of heavy weaponry, and no releasing of prisoners, illegally held in the occupied territories of Ukraine and in Russia. There’s no peace in Ukraine because Russia is not interested in peace.