Russia elections farce, Ukraine will work with democratically elected govts: Kuleba

China can do a lot to stop this war, says Ukrainian foreign minister

Russia Ukraine war (Screengrab) Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba

During a Webex briefing from Kyiv on Tuesday, Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba offered insights into the current state of the ongoing war in Ukraine. He covered various topics, including Ukraine’s management of arms and the forthcoming global peace summit set to occur in Switzerland. 

While speaking to the media, Kuleba said Ukraine continues to defend 1,200 kilometres of active frontline as it did in the last 25 months since the full-scale invasion.

Kuleba reiterated that Russia’s expansionist ambition over former Soviet countries can only be stopped if Ukraine’s invasion is halted. 

“The situation in the frontline remains tense,” said Kuleba while accusing Russia of erasing towns and villages in the frontline areas. 

Ukraine is different from Russia, he said. “While we respect the lives of our soldiers, Russia is using brutal tactics by sending more number of soldiers to the battlefield.”

Speaking about the self-reliance in arms, Kuleba said drones are the new heroes of the war and Ukraine is planning to domestically produce one million drones this year. The need for armour, and engineering equipment for the Armed Force of Ukraine was also mentioned by the minister. 

He also gave updates about the artillery ammunition promised by friendly countries. According to him, Ukraine is also actively seeking new sources to procure weapons for its forces. 

Kuleba praised Ukraine’s effort to secure the Black Sea grain deal which provided food grains to 33 countries in Asia, Europe and Africa. He said apart from commercial exports, Ukraine also provided thousands of tonnes of humanitarian assistance in the form of free food grains to many vulnerable families in many countries. 

Last February, 8 million tonnes of cargo went from Odessa port of which 5.2 million tonnes were loaded with food grains. “Story of Ukraine resuming maritime food exports is a recipe for global food security,” he added. 

Replying to THE WEEK’s question about election results in Russia and how Ukraine is preparing to face the election results in many countries which are going to the polls this year, he said, “This year is rich in elections and Ukraine doesn’t meddle in other countries’ elections; we will work with the governments which are democratically elected, and in the case of Russia, the elections are not real,” he added. 

Also, while replying to a journalist's question about China’s influence in the Ukraine war, Kuleba said China can do a lot to stop this war as it enjoys a good relationship with Russia. 

He said President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s peace formula will be put forth in the global peace summit. However, he didn’t elaborate on what the peace formula is about. 

Kuleba is on a diplomatic tour to major nations across the globe before the peace summit in Switzerland to gain confidence of the participating countries. He is expected to visit India in the last week of March. During his visit, he will be meeting Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar. 

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