February 22, U.S. Secretary Antony J. Blinken And Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba gave a joint press conference in Washington.
“Needless to say, Russia’s move is a grave breach of international law and a new act of aggression against Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Therefore, Ukraine strongly believes the time for sanctions is now, and in this context, we welcome today’s announcement of sanctions by President Biden. The world must respond with all its economic might to punish Russia for the crimes it has already committed and ahead of the crimes it plans to commit. Hit Russia’s economy now and hit it hard,” Ukraine’s MFA head told.
“NATO is a choice of the people of Ukraine. No one but Ukraine and NATO will decide on the future of our relationship, and it has never been about NATO for Putin. Putin – it’s just an excuse. Even if we do nothing, President Putin will find a reason to accuse us of doing something,” he noted.
“Today, we’re implementing full blocking sanctions on two large Russian financial institutions, VEB and Promsvyazbank, both of which have close links to the Kremlin and the Russian military. Collectively, they hold more than $80 billion in assets,” Secretary Blinken stated.
February 22, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister also had a conversation with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock.
February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to formally recognize the independence of two rebel-controlled regions in eastern Ukraine, breaching the 2015 protocol that ended the conflict in Donbas and further inflaming the tensions between the two countries.