Ukrainian Foreign Ministry sees correct decision not to break off relations with Russia

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Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called it the right decision not to break off diplomatic relations with Russia. He said this in an interview with the Ukrainian newspaper Glavkom on 1 August.

“Okay, let’s say that we would break off diplomatic relations with Russia in 2014. <...> We need a limited diplomatic presence there to protect the interests of Ukrainian citizens in Russia. I believe that the current configuration is the most balanced and effective,” Kuleba said.

According to the Minister, from the political point of view, severing relations with Russia would be “the right gesture”, but “legally, in terms of protecting the interests of its citizens”, it would be a mistake, he stressed.

Ukraine has “hundreds of political prisoners” and the country needs a limited diplomatic presence in Russia to protect its citizens, the minister said.

In 2018, Pavlo Klimkin, who held the post of the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, said that the diplomatic relations with Russia had exhausted, but Kiev was not ready to break them up yet.

Relations between Moscow and Kiev have deteriorated amid the situation in Donbas. The Ukrainian authorities have previously repeatedly accused Russia of interfering in the country’s internal affairs. Moscow has repeatedly stated that it is not a party to the internal conflict and is interested in Kiev overcoming the political and economic crisis.