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New invasion, sanctions against Nord Stream 2, EU and NATO membership. Highlights from interview with Foreign Minister Kuleba

Dmytro Kuleba's interview with RBC-Ukraine on December 28. Photo: Facebook / Dmytro Kuleba

Dmytro Kuleba's interview with RBC-Ukraine on December 28. Photo: Facebook / Dmytro Kuleba

The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba gave an interview to RBC-Ukraine and reported on the escalation on the Ukrainian-Russian border; international support for Ukraine; sanctions against Nord Stream 2 and why they have not yet been imposed, as well as Ukraine's steps towards EU and NATO membership. The Page publishes the highlights.

Escalation and threat of a new invasion

Kuleba states that the situation now resembles that of April. However, at that time, it was possible to "diplomatically" force Moscow to retreat. Over the current year, the threat level has increased significantly.

"Now the threat level has increased over the last month, but it has not crossed the red line. You know, it is like a red line on the thermometer at 37 degrees. We have come close to this red line in the last month, but we have not crossed it yet. And now all efforts are still aimed precisely at preventing the risk of military escalation on the part of Russia."

Dmytro Kuleba

Dmytro Kuleba

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

The Minister adds that all diplomatic efforts, including a series of negotiations with the governments of European countries and the United States, failed to "roll back the temperature to normal", but helped to avoid further rise.

Russian requirements for NATO

Kuleba stresses that if the North Atlantic Alliance accepts the demands proposed by Russia, it will become "the greatest humiliation of the United States and NATO in history since establishing" the military bloc. He adds that the Kremlin has probably chosen a "madman strategy" for itself—demonstrating its partners its readiness to take any unpredictable steps.

«They may well not have a plan, by the way. Chaotic actions: let's try this and see what happens. They still have a reputation for being "bad guys", they have nothing to lose in this regard. ... This is such testing, provoking the West, this is their game. Here we should think less about their motivation and care more about our actions and about the coordination of our partners' actions with us.»

Dmytro Kuleba

Dmytro Kuleba

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

Minsk talks and Normandy Format

Kuleba notes that the Ukrainian side is constantly working with the summit organization in the Normandy Format. He stresses that the main point for Ukraine is "for President (Vladimir—The Page) Putin to be present at the table."

"He has such a trait that when he already sits down at the table, he tries to leave it with an agreement, and then a solution can be sought. And the experience of the Paris Summit 2019 illustrates this."

Dmytro Kuleba

Dmytro Kuleba

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

Regarding "Minsk", the Minister states that there is no need for negotiations now—"it has been discussed and written so many times". According to him, only a "green light" from the Kremlin is needed, since Russia keeps almost all agreed paragraphs (such as a complete ceasefire, the opening of entry-exit checkpoints, the release of prisoners, etc.) in a stop mode.

Sanctions against Nord Stream 2 and why they are not imposed

The minister said that Ukraine, together with its Western partners, developed a package of sanctions against the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. However, he adds that so far there is no specific plan for their further promotion, and there are several reasons for this.

«The first one is the disagreement among the constituent entities as to whether this package should be finalized now and made obvious to Russia. Or, through diplomatic channels, threaten them with "untold suffering" encouraging them to cooperate. The second reason is objective reality, the approach of Catholic Christmas, and the curtailment of all activities on the diplomatic track, this also has its impact.»


Dmytro Kuleba

Dmytro Kuleba

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

Prospects for Ukraine's membership in EU and NATO

Kuleba states that in 2021 Ukraine "definitely became closer to the EU", in particular, due to the Open Skies Treaty; joining the European Peace Facility; enhancing integration into the EU internal market; steps towards disconnecting the Ukrainian power grid from the Russian and Belarusian and its joining the European ENTSO-E. The Minister also stresses that Ukraine has joined NATO's Enhanced Opportunities Program.

"We are going to work everywhere in the world where we see Ukrainian interest or interest in Ukrainian business. I am ideologically for Europe, the EU, and NATO, and this strategic course of Ukraine is completely irreversible and unchangeable. But the world is much wider, and Ukraine should feel confident in this world and get from this world what we need, and give other countries what they need with benefit."

Dmytro Kuleba

Dmytro Kuleba

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine


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