Ukraine’s foreign minister said Sunday the situation in the country has been getting “even more explosive,” and the potential for full-blown military conflict with Russia is “growing.”
Andrii Deshchytsia, Ukraine’s foreign minister, said on ABC’s “This Week” he is “very much concerned” about the deployment on Russian troops on Ukraine’s Eastern borders.
“Still high, still very high,” he said of the chances of war. “I would say if you wanted to measure somehow, it’s becoming higher. Because the problem is that Russians, and particularly Putin’s administration, Putin himself is not talking to the rest of the world.
“He doesn’t want to listen to the world. He doesn’t want to respond on the arguments, Ukrainian arguments, and arguments to de-escalate situation and stop invasion. We don’t know what Putin has in his mind and what will be his decision. That’s why this situation is becoming even more explosive than it used to be a week ago.”
NATO’s top military commander said Sunday Russia had amassed a “very, very sizeable” and “very, very ready” force on Ukraine’s eastern border. It comes two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin formally annexed the region of Crimea.
Russian officials have said in the past few days that the country does not have further plans in Ukraine, but some have said the country’s actions suggest otherwise.
“He goes to bed at night thinking of Peter the Great and he wakes up thinking of Stalin,” Rep. Mike Rogers, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said of Putin on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday.
“We need to understand who he is and what he wants. It may not fit with what we believe of the 21st century.”
U.S. President Barack Obama levied a harsh expansion of sanctions on Russian officials last week, while hinting that more would come if Russia continues to escalate the situation. Obama is travelling to Europe this week, and the West’s response to Russian aggression will be a key focus.
Deshchytsia said Sunday he was hopeful the situation could be resolved diplomatically. But he added it would be hard for Ukrainians not to respond militarily if Russia invades.
“We are trying to use all the diplomatic measures and all the economic, financial and other sanctions — visa sanctions — to stop Russians not to do this,” he said. “But it’s very difficult to keep people restrained, and they are patriots of their homeland. Would be difficult for them just simply sit or stay and look at Russia invading their country.”
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