Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States called Russia a “terrorist state” and called for the West’s sanctions to go much further to isolate Moscow from the global economy.
Oksana Markarova spoke on both Fox News Sunday and CBS’ Face the Nation, and called for the US and Europe to take their economic punishments against Russia’s economy to the next level. Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked incursion is entering its third week amid reports that Russian forces are deliberately targeting civilians as the shelling intensifies.
“This is a terrorist state and we should treat Russia as a terrorist state,” she told Fox’s Shannon Bream, adding that the US and other countries should implement a “full embargo on [Russian] oil and gas”.
Some US lawmakers have called for a ban on importing Russian oil but the Biden administration and West in general has been particularly reluctant to cut off the supply of Russian energy completely due to concerns about their own economies. Germany in particularly is heavily reliant on Russian energy, and has resisted calls to end its business with Russian companies amid the invasion of Ukraine. The US too has avoided most Russian energy companies with targeted sanctions the Biden administration has implemented in response to Vladimir Putin’s war.
“We are thankful for the sanctions that have been implemented by the United States,” the Ukrainian ambassador said on Sunday. “But since Russia is not changing their behavior, they escalated actually, they are killing us more and more, the sanctions should toughen up.”
“We didn’t provoke Russia, we didn’t do anything, we were not a threat to Russia. Unless being a peaceful democracy and just peacefully living in your own country is a threat,” she continued. If that’s the case, Ms Markarova argued on Face the Nation, “then Europe and the whole world is not safe”.
President Joe Biden indicated that more sanctions would be on the way if Russia’s invasion continued as he spoke to a joint session of Congress last week for his State of the Union address, telling lawmakers, “[Putin] has no idea what’s coming”.
The US has also stepped up military aid shipments to Ukraine and is in talks to approve the sale or transfer of fighter jets from other Nato allies to Ukraine’s military as it fights the Russian invasion. Some, urged on by Ukraine’s government, have called for Nato to enforce a no-fly zone in the country, which experts and the White House have warned would likely lead to open war between Russia and Nato.
The ability of Ukraine’s military to fight off the Russian invasion remains in question as Russia’s forces remain mostly stalled in the north but have made some advances in the country’s southern regions.
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