A former Ukrainian leader is urging Western nations not to let Russia’s nuclear threats stop them from helping his country.
Petro Poroshenko, who succeeded Volodymyr Zelenskyy as Ukraine’s president from 2014 to 2019, spoke on the issue in an interview with Current Time published on Saturday. In it he insisted that the only way to take action against Putin was by force.
“Putin only understands violence [and he] will go as far as the world allows him,” Poroshenko said. “We cannot set a precedent for the world – and even more so for Europe – in which a state can change by force [borders].”
On the subject of nuclear weapons, Poroshenko has labeled Putin’s various statements and speeches about the potential for nuclear warfare as empty threats and urged the nations of the world not to be intimidated by them as they continue to help Ukraine. Putin fears the consequences of using nuclear weapons.
“He is prevented from doing so by fear when he thinks about using weapons of mass destruction because Putin [knows] it will be destroyed by retaliatory strikes,” the former president said.
The conflict in Ukraine began in late February when, after months of troop build-up on the border, Putin sent his troops to the neighboring state. The invasion, intended to be rapid, is now approaching three months in duration, with Russia having achieved none of its original objectives.
Fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces is now concentrated in the eastern Donbass regions. Several rounds of peace talks between the two nations have fizzled out, with the nations unable to compromise on the terms of a ceasefire. Poroshenko added that, in his opinion, “territorial integrity and sovereignty” cannot be jeopardized in the context of peace talks.
“Putin wants to wipe Ukraine off the world map as a state,” said Poroshenko. “It’s impossible to talk about anything other than a ceasefire, the withdrawal of Russian troops and a solution to the humanitarian situation. A country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty must not be compromised.”
In early May, Bob Menendez, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, warned that the risk of Russia deploying nuclear or chemical weapons will only increase as Putin grows more desperate about the invasion of Ukraine.
“Well, ironically, one of my concerns is that the more successful Ukrainians are, the greater the risk that Putin will do something because he loses and has to save face at home,” Menendez told host Bret Baier during an appearance Fox News Sunday. “And so the potential of a chemical, biological, or tactical nuclear weapon can grow as a result.”
https://www.newsweek.com/putins-nuclear-threats-shouldnt-deter-western-leaders-poroshenko-1708858 Putin’s Nuclear Threats Should Not Deter Western Leaders: Poroshenko