Zelenskyy calls for Western backing on hits against Russian infrastructure

Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Western partners should back strikes on Russian infrastructure in response to Russian attacks on Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during a press conference with Finnish President Alexander Stubb in Kyiv on April 3.

Zelenskyy emphasized that Russia only responds to displays of strength, noting that mere international condemnation of its aggressive actions has not curtailed the onslaught.

"To understand how to survive in Kharkiv, how people live without electricity, without water, and then understand that Russia understands nothing but strength," he said.

Read also: UN calls Russia’s drone factory in Tatarstan ‘civilian infrastructure’ while condemning UA attack

"All condemnations regarding the illegal occupation of our territories, attacks on our energy sector, blackouts we've experienced over these two years, undermining our infrastructure, our hydroelectric power stations, etc., have not led to a decrease in Russian Federation attacks — this indicates that these people understand only one thing — when they understand that there is a powerful force."

Zelenskyy and Stubb signed a ten-year agreement on cooperation in the field of security and long-term support on April 3.

The U.S. asked Ukraine to stop attacks on Russia's energy infrastructure, as it could lead to an increase in global oil prices and corresponding Russian actions, the Financial Times reported on March 22.

Ukraine has already responded to similar calls "by achieving its goals and conducting highly successful operations" on Russian territory, said Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanshyna.

Statements from other officials indicate that Ukraine deems Russian oil refineries as legitimate military targets.

The U.S. has not demanded that Ukraine cease the attacks on Russian oil infrastructure, said Ukrainian Presidential advisor, Mykhailo Podolyak.

The White House responded to the Financial Times' claims by saying that it does not encourage or support Ukrainian attacks within Russia.

Read also: Ukraine striking Russian oil is legitimate self-defense — France

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba would not confirm information that the U.S. asked Ukraine not to strike Russian oil refineries on March 26.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said on March 26 that the United States does not support Ukrainian strikes on Russian territory but declined to comment on whether they had asked Ukraine to cease attacking Russian oil refineries.

Read also: No foreign weapons used in strikes on Russian territory — UA intelligence

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