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“The federal government should now put everything on the military card at the latest”

WORLD: Vladimir Putin has asked Ukraine to stop all military action and return to the negotiating table.

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“The federal government should now put everything on the military card at the latest”

WORLD: Vladimir Putin has asked Ukraine to stop all military action and return to the negotiating table. Will Ukraine follow this request?

Andriy Melnyk: The war criminal Putin has nothing to dictate to us Ukrainians. Cowardly bombing Ukrainian civilians every day like the car column near Zaporizhia on Friday with 30 dead and almost 100 seriously injured and at the same time talking about the willingness to negotiate is pure Muppet show, sleazy comedy full of cynicism. After Putin attempted to annex 15 percent of Ukraine's territory, an area larger than Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg combined, he threw all negotiation options overboard and finally disqualified himself as a discussion partner. The Ukrainian army will continue to gradually liberate the regions occupied by Russia.

WORLD: Putin emphasizes that the Ukrainians from Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia and Kherson "are our citizens forever". Can there ever be negotiations on this basis at all?

Melnyk: Should real negotiations with Moscow come about at some point, the fate of these territories annexed in violation of international law will not be negotiable for us at all. The regions of Kherson, Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhia and Crimea were and remain an inseparable part of Ukraine. There will be no agreements with Russia until Moscow has withdrawn from all of these regions.

WORLD: Recently, Putin has repeatedly indirectly threatened the use of nuclear weapons, during the speech he said: "We will defend our country with all means possible." How seriously do you take this threat?

Melnyk: Of course we have to take this threat from the Kremlin very seriously and prepare for the scenario of a nuclear strike. At the same time, the probability of this ultimate insane act by Putin remains rather low. Because this greatest crime against humanity would inevitably mean the end of today's Russia as we know it and the inevitable collapse of this rogue state. Russia will collapse like a house of cards. Dozens of independent republics will emerge from this shambles, and many oppressed peoples will free themselves from the Moscow yoke. And the new rump Russia that remains after this parade of sovereignty around Moscow will forever remain an outlaw pariah on the world stage. He will lose his permanent seat on the UN Security Council and be made nuclear-free. Putin knows very well that such an apocalyptic scenario is approaching his homeland and would therefore hardly risk this worst catastrophe in Russian history.

WORLD: What reaction do you want from Germany and the West to this speech?

Melnyk: With his crazy speech, Putin trampled on any hope that one could still negotiate with this Russia. Germany therefore need not worry unnecessarily that Putin cannot be provoked too much and cornered. The federal government should put everything on the military card now at the latest and equip Ukraine with all weapon systems without delay, including the Leopard battle tank. In addition, the traffic light should play a leading role in introducing the harshest sanctions against the Putin regime in order to bring it to its knees.

To be honest, the West's response to this new blatant crime by Putin has not been sufficient at all. While the fact that our allies will never recognize the attempted annexation of four Ukrainian territories is a key pillar, it is far from enough. Very painful punitive measures must now follow that will really hurt Russia. I call on the Chancellor and the traffic light to put aside all previous reluctance and doubts and finally act decisively and decisively to inflict a crushing military and economic defeat on Russia.

The questions were asked in writing.

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