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Opinion | I’m Ukraine’s Foreign Minister. Putin Must Be Stopped.

KYIV, Ukraine — Russia, apparently, is prepared for a cease-fire. The door to negotiations, the Kremlin’s spokesman said last week, has by no means been closed.

Nobody needs to be fooled. No matter its officers could say, Russia stays centered on struggle and goals to damage Ukraine and shatter the West. The sight of Odesa, hit by Russian missiles simply hours after a deal was reached to permit grain exports from southern ports, ought to dispel any lingering naïveté. For Vladimir Putin, a cease-fire now would merely enable his depleted invasion forces to take a break earlier than returning for additional aggression.

The reality is straightforward: Mr. Putin won’t cease till he’s stopped. That’s why requires a cease-fire, audible throughout Europe and America, are badly misplaced. This isn’t the time to just accept unfavorable cease-fire proposals or peace offers. The duty as a substitute is to defeat Russia and restrict its skill to assault anybody once more within the foreseeable future. With sustained and well timed help, Ukraine is prepared and ready to take action.

Nobody wished this struggle apart from Russia, and no nation on this planet craves peace greater than Ukraine. However an enduring, sturdy peace — slightly than the time bomb of a frozen battle — is feasible solely after Russia suffers a serious battleground defeat. That’s why Ukraine should win. Solely then will Mr. Putin search peace, not struggle.

It’s not as if the Russians are setting out a concrete path to a cease-fire. Sooner or later, Russia’s foreign minister claims the nation is able to broaden its struggle goals. Subsequent, he says Moscow is ready to barter with Kyiv “on a wider vary of points.” In late June, Mr. Putin’s spokesman instructed Ukraine ought to settle for Russia’s ultimatums and lay down arms to finish the struggle. Final week, he stated Russia is prepared to resume talks however that the ball is in Ukraine’s court docket. It’s laborious to know what to suppose — apart from that Russia is just not critical about ending the battle.

Ukraine, america and our European allies want to talk to Mr. Putin in his language: the language of pressure. Virtually, this implies strengthening Ukraine militarily, by rushing up deliveries of superior artillery items and armored autos, and economically with extra monetary help. Sanctions needs to be elevated, too, focusing on Russian exports, banning its banks and proscribing its entry to maritime commerce. Some would possibly cavil on the value of such help. However the various, of an emboldened Mr. Putin, is far worse.

I’m deeply grateful to america, and personally to my pal and counterpart Secretary of State Antony Blinken, for all the safety and different help the nation has supplied. I’m equally grateful to all our companions in Europe and around the globe who’re standing with Ukraine on this troublesome time.

But I need to be clear: Army help to Ukraine is just not charity. It’s a essential funding in Europe’s long-term safety. The Ukrainian Military will emerge out of this battle — Europe’s largest land struggle since 1945 — as one of many continent’s most succesful army forces. After repelling Russia’s invasion, the Ukrainian army will commit itself to safeguarding the safety and stability of Europe, defending democracy from any authoritarian encroachment.

For all of the skepticism about sanctions, the actual fact is that they work. Russia’s persistent makes an attempt to carry them, corresponding to proposals to relinquish its naval blockade of Ukrainian ports in trade for the removing of sanctions, are the perfect testimony of their effectiveness. In his efforts to harm the well-being of Europeans and North People, Mr. Putin is weaponizing vitality and meals, intentionally driving up world costs. Strengthening sanctions, which restrict Russia’s skill to proceed with the struggle, is the easiest way to convey such conduct to an finish.

With world help, Ukraine has already stabilized the entrance line and is making ready to regain management over territories presently occupied by Russia, firstly within the strategically necessary south. It’s true that we misplaced some floor within the Luhansk area, due to Russia’s overwhelming benefit in artillery. However we are actually slowly however steadily closing the hole, due to heavy weaponry provided by america and others. In current weeks, Russia has did not make any important good points. We’re decided to show the tide in our favor and push Russian forces out of our land.

In that spirit, we in Ukraine name on our companions to extend their help and reject Russia’s pretend peace proposals. Nor ought to they pay any consideration to the narrative, amplified by Russian propaganda, of so-called struggle fatigue. Each struggle is tiresome, however we have to endure. The worth of shedding — a crushed Ukraine, a shattered West and a resurgent Russia — is just too excessive to countenance anything.

Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) is the overseas minister of Ukraine.

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