Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš says Russia needs to lose the war in Ukraine to achieve lasting peace and security.
“It’s the challenge of Europe and actually the challenge of the world to persevere, and to keep the eye on the ball,” Kariņš told Politico. “The main goal of ours has to be that Russia loses — and the other side of the coin is that Ukraine wins the war. Anything short of that means we have a very bad security situation in Europe.”
“The only way to get a lasting peace and security is by Russia losing, because anything else that Russia does not perceive as a loss means that it’s just a way-station,” he added. “So maybe the conflict slows down now … it’s frozen, as many conflicts had been in the past … and then Russia would understand, ‘hey, this worked, land grab worked, nothing really happened,’ continue to rebuild its military and move forward, whether it’s in Ukraine, or Moldova, or Georgia or Kazakhstan or elsewhere. That is what will lead to long-term instability.”
European Union leaders struggled Monday to agree to impose an oil embargo on Russia, as Ukraine’s president urged them to set aside their differences and endorse a long-delayed package of sanctions aimed at piling more economic pressure on Moscow to halt the war.
The EU has already imposed five rounds of sanctions on Russia over its war. It’s targeted more than 1,000 people, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and top government officials, as well as pro-Kremlin oligarchs, banks, the coal sector and more.
But a sixth package of measures, announced on May 4, has been held up by concerns over oil supplies. The EU gets about 40% of its natural gas and 25% of its oil from Russia, and the divisions are embarrassing the 27-nation trading bloc and exposing the limits of its ambitions.
Addressing the EU leaders Monday by video-link in a 10-minute message, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged them to end “internal arguments that only prompt Russia to put more and more pressure on the whole of Europe.”
He said the sanctions package must “be agreed on, it needs to be effective, including (on) oil,” so that Moscow “feels the price for what it is doing against Ukraine” and the rest of Europe. Only then, Zelenskyy said, will Russia be forced to “start seeking peace.”
Kariņš told Politico that EU leaders should agree to sanction Russia’s entire energy sector.
“The difficulty is that some of my colleagues have a false belief … peace at any cost,” Kariņš said. “And peace at any cost is what we have done for 20 years with Putin. And peace at any cost means Putin wins. We end up losing. Now, in the self-interest of Germany, and France and Italy and everyone else, if we really want security in Europe, Russia has to lose, they finally have to realize they cannot operate in this way. And collectively, we have the ability to make that happen.”
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
Solange Reyner is a writer and editor for Newsmax. She has more than 15 years in the journalism industry reporting and covering news, sports and politics.
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