Ukraine's Ambassador to Germany Andrij Melnyk drew the attention of future German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to the acute threat Ukraine is facing from Russia and called for preventing the worst-case scenario by rolling out before Vladimir Putin a "catalog" of sanctions that will follow in case of a new round of aggression.
Melnyk delivered his open address through the influential German newspaper Bild, Ukrinform reports.
The risk of a new Russian military offensive on Ukraine has never been the same as in recent weeks, Melnyk said. According to the envoy, "it is about the very survival of Ukraine as an independent state because Putin (...) seeks to destroy Ukrainian statehood."
The Ukrainian ambassador fears that a massive attack by Russia from the east, as well as from the south – from the occupied Crimea, and from the north, may be imminent. This is evidenced by both the amassing of troops along the Ukrainian border and in the occupied Donbas, and also by the new dimension of the Kremlin's efforts to fuel the war.
It takes more than just "Berlin’s words of warning addressed to Putin" to prevent this looming "deadly intervention and the ensuing humanitarian catastrophe" in time, the diplomat said.
Ukraine has called on the incoming Federal Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, to issue a clear warning to Russia immediately after he is appointed head of government and to define clearly all the major consequences of a possible attack on Ukraine.
According to the Ukrainian government, a catalog of harsh punitive measures and sanctions by the “traffic light coalition” is needed. The catalog must be presented to Putin no later than December 8, immediately after Scholz is elected chancellor, the ambassador says.
Melnyk listed appropriate measures, including full ostracism of Russia by all international organizations; full embargo on all strategic exports of gas, crude oil, and coal, as well as other raw materials; a complete ban on German investment in Russia; freezing of Russian state assets abroad, including bank accounts; and shutdown of SWIFT.
"Only this clear threat-warning from the new federal government can stop Putin and prevent a new war in the middle of Europe in time," Melnyk said.
Tensions between Russia and the West over Russia's occupation policy in Ukraine have intensified recently. Given the massive build-up of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine, fears are growing that Moscow could launch a military invasion of the neighboring country.