Ukraine Should Return Donbas and Crimea to Win the War - Dmytro Kuleba

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Since last week, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba has been conducting a kind of "European tour" - he is visiting those states that oppose granting Ukraine the status of a candidate for EU membership.

After Germany, the Foreign Minister went to the Netherlands. It is no secret that this state becomes "problematic" when it comes to Ukraine's European integration.

Dmytro Kuleba gave an interview to the local newspaper NRC in the Netherlands. Its translation European Pravda published with the permission of the copyright owner. It is about expectations from the Netherlands and Ukraine's path to the EU, Russian influence, and what Kyiv will consider a victory.

Main Dmytro Kuleba's statements:

"I regret that Ukraine had to be attacked to change this perception. I regret that this war was necessary for Europeans to recognize that we are one of you. That you should see that we are being murdered, tortured, and raped and that our country is being destroyed. But that's how history is made. That's not cynical, it's a tragedy."

"Hungary is indeed an obstacle. The oil embargo is not a sanction with immediate effect, it will not start until six months after it. So it is not an immediate problem for us. For the EU, it is: the inability to adopt the oil embargo illustrates its lack of unity."

"The good news is that the Netherlands is not leading the resistance, and no European country can afford to lead the resistance". 

"We felt the pain of the Dutch referendum on the association agreement in 2016. I was in the Netherlands, there was a strong anti-Ukraine sentiment. The man behind that campaign [Kuleba refers to, among others, Thierry Baudet, ed.] was supported by Russia, and two years later, you abolished the consultative referendum. We are still troubled by that referendum that you later consider to be a mistake."

"The main prejudice is that Ukraine does not belong to Europe. Understandable, because for the last three hundred years Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire, and you saw Ukraine from a Russian perspective. We now ask: view us as a sovereign country, judge Ukraine on its own merits."

"We must win at all costs because if we lose, Ukraine will disappear and there will be a completely different Europe. Liberation of the occupied territories, including Crimea and Donbas. Reparations by Russia. Trial of Russian war crimes and crimes against humanity. Anchoring Ukraine in European integration. Those are the four elements that go with a win for me."

"One of the reasons for this war is that politicians in Europe and the US have been too accommodating to Putin. It was always others who had to make concessions to satisfy him. It's time to turn things around."

Read more in the article Dmytro Kuleba: Victory for Ukraine Means Liberation of Crimea and Donbas.

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