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Kuleba said that European resolve regarding sanctions has begun to wane

Some countries even oppose the supply of weapons to Ukraine.

Kuleba said that European resolve regarding sanctions has begun to wane

Almost every tenth proposal of Russia during the negotiation process relates to the matter of sanctions. Sanctions appear to be painful for Russia, but they are not enough, sky is the limit for the sanctions the West could impose on Russia. 

This opinion was expressed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba in his interview to the Economist.

Many of the imposed sanctions have exceptions. For example, the European Union has agreed to exclude some key Russian banks from the SWIFT, but spares few others. The foreign reserves freeze hasn't cut Russia off from its foreign currency entirely, which allowed Russia to continue to pay its debt and prevented technical default.

Now Ukraine asks for new restrictive measures, including full closure of European ports for Russian ships and an oil and gas embargo, or at least significant steps to reduce dependence on Russian energy.

Finally, Ukraine would like the West to move beyond the practice of targeting individual oligarchs and towards a more systemic approach.

"You're sanctioning Russian oligarchs. But Putinism is a system of governance", - Kuleba said.

He added that "they (Putin’s aides) may not be billionaires or even millionaires but they are the small elements in the machine of Putinism."

Surprisingly, such proposals of Ukraine are opposed in some EU countries.

"Unfortunately, what I see in the last ten days in the European Union is backsliding back to its normality where it cannot decide on strong and swift action", - he said.

The same applies to weapons supply negotiations. Ukraine's Western partners remain hesitant to send bigger-ticket items such as tanks, armored vehicles or planes.

"Every weapon that is being used by the Ukrainian army in the territory of Ukraine is a defensive weapon by definition. The discussions around which types of weapons our western partner can or cannot provide put Ukrainian cities at risk of a prolonged siege and contribute to the growing number of civilians killed", - Mr Kuleba argued. 

The second big sticking point concerns the new security guarantees for Ukraine. The Russians sent to the negotiating table seem unqualified to resolve such issues. Direct negotiations between Putin and Volodymyr Zelenskyy are “the only real talks where decisions can be made”, he said.

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