Brussels (Brussels Morning) Ukraine called on NATO today to prepare sanctions against Russia in order to deter it from an attack.
Addressing a NATO meeting in Riga, the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, also said that NATO should ramp up its military cooperation with Ukraine, Reuters reported.
“We will call on the allies to join Ukraine in putting together a deterrence package”, Kuleba said, reiterating that such a package should include economic sanctions.
“We are confident that if we join efforts, if we act in a coordinated fashion, we will be able to deter President Putin and to demotivate him from choosing the worst-case scenario, which is a military operation”, he stressed.
Before the meeting, Denmarks’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jeppe Kofod, declared that a military operation against Ukraine would be met with “severe consequence”, noting that the Danes were prepared to impose “heavy” sanctions.
On Tuesday, NATO and the US had cautioned Russia about any new aggression against Ukraine, stressing that Moscow would pay a steep price for it.
“Any future Russian aggression against Ukraine would come at a high price and have serious political and economic consequences for Russia”, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said as the first day of the NATO meetings in Riga drew to a close.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has indicated that Moscow would have to take action were NATO to set up missiles in the Ukraine that could reach Moscow in minutes.
Relations between Western countries and Moscow have deteriorated in recent years as Ukraine’s plans to join NATO and the EU evolve.
Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine seven years ago and it supports rebels in the east of the country. Rroughly 14,000 having been killed in the conflict, according to Kiev.
On the issue of Crimea, Kulea warned Belarus against recognising the peninsula as Russian territory, pointing out how the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko had described Crimea as legally Russian territory.
“The potential recognition of the occupied Crimea by Belarus will be a point of no return in our bilateral relations”, he said, leaving Kiev no alternative but to act accordingly “because for us, Crimea is not a field for compromises.”