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15 Jun, 2022 14:36

Ukraine’s survival in doubt – former Russian president

Dmitry Medvedev suggests the country may not exist to pay its debts in two years
Ukraine’s survival in doubt – former Russian president

The deputy chair of Russia’s National Security Council has suggested Ukraine may not survive as a sovereign nation for two more years, considering its current state. Dmitry Medvedev, also a former president of Russia, made the remarks on Wednesday in response to Kiev’s reported plans to borrow energy from Western sponsors.

According to a report on Tuesday in Foreign Policy magazine, Ukrainian officials are looking for ways to secure supplies of natural gas for the upcoming winter that would not be sourced from Russia. Among their ideas is importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the US, preferably paid for later under a “lend-lease” scheme.

Kiev is asking for 6 billion cubic meters of LNG delivered to terminals in Europe and pumped to Ukraine via pipelines, the report said. The cost would be repaid in two years, “once domestic production of gas is ramped up”. Yuriy Vitrenko, head of the Ukrainian energy monopoly Naftogaz, has claimed the Americans were surprised by the proposal, but received it well.

In his post on Telegram, Medvedev said that without American aid Ukraine would “simply freeze in the winter” before questioning whether the US will be able to recover the debt.

“Who said that in two years Ukraine would still be on the world map?” he wrote.

“Though the Americans probably don’t care anymore. They have invested so much in their ‘anti-Russia’ project that all other considerations are not that big of a deal for them,” he added.

The Kremlin commented on Medvedev’s remarks later in the day by saying Ukraine’s problems are not a secret.

“The most important thing is that the nationalist units keep on fighting, and the Ukrainian leadership is still unwilling to rein in those units and take a sober look at their situation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “This certainly does not bode well for Ukraine.”

Kiev has condemned Medvedev’s remarks. Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, retorted: “Ukraine was and it will be,” and called Medvedev a would-be personification of “Russian imperialism” and a “small person with big insecurities,” saying the real question was where the Russian official would be in two years.