Ukraine tells the West how to respond to Putin
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has called on the West “to double” its support for Ukraine. Such a move would be the best response to Vladimir Putin’s “belligerent threats,” Kuleba claimed, apparently referring to the recent statements of the Russian president.
On Wednesday morning, Putin announced partial mobilization in Russia, saying that the country is now fighting “the entire Western military machine” in Ukraine. The Russian leader also made it clear that his country would be prepared to use any means necessary, including nuclear weapons, to protect its territorial integrity.
“The only appropriate response to Putin’s belligerent threats is to double down on supporting Ukraine. More sanctions on Russia. More weapons to Ukraine. More solidarity with Ukrainians. More businesses pulling out of Russia. More determination to hold Russia accountable,” Kuleba wrote on Twitter.
His statement echoed the remarks of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who told Reuters on Wednesday that the best answer to Russia’s latest moves would be “to step up and further support Ukraine.”
Many other Western leaders – including US President Joe Biden, EU Council head Charles Michel, and UK Prime Minister Liz Truss – condemned Putin’s remarks and reassured Kiev that their support would remain “firm” and “steadfast.”
On Tuesday, Truss announced that next year Britain would match or even exceed its record 2022 military support to Ukraine, which has already amounted to £2.3 billion.
Last week, Washington pledged to send an additional $600 million in military aid to Kiev. In total, under Biden’s administration, the US has provided Ukraine with almost $16 billion of assistance.
Kiev’s Western partners also pledged to maintain both economic and military pressure on Russia. Putin, in turn, claimed on Wednesday that Russia would “not succumb to blackmail and intimidation” and would never betray or lose its sovereignty.