12:58 15 Apr 2024

"I don't see a causal relationship": Kuleba defends Ukraine's targeting of Russian refineries following US criticism

Photo: EPA/UPG

According to the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, there is no correlation between the current state of the global energy industry and recent attacks on Russian oil refineries. About a week ago, the Pentagon's head, Lloyd Austin, expressed assumptions about such consequences.

The Ukrainian official stated this on the national telethon air.

"I listened to Mr. Austin—he is a great friend of Ukraine, and he has done a lot for us, but in this matter, honestly, I don't see a causal relationship," Kuleba said.

The head of the Foreign Ministry is convinced that explosions and fires at the refinery can affect the energy market of Russia's aggressor country and not the global one.

"When an oil refinery explodes in Russia, we see the emergence of problems on the Russian energy market, but I don't see any problems on the world market," the minister emphasized.

The official also highlighted that the continuous air assaults from the Russian Federation in Ukraine, coupled with the absence of Patriot air defense systems, have resulted in a rising number of casualties among civilians and a shortage of necessities like electricity and heating.

Kuleba was wondering if "anyone cares" in this situation.

In addition, he emphasized that Ukraine is forced to defend itself against large-scale military aggression by the Russian Federation, in particular massive combined air attacks. Therefore, "one should think in one's own interests."

The minister suggested that if the partner countries transfer effective air defense equipment to Ukraine with a request "not to do certain things," then "there is a subject for discussion."

"And if we don't have these batteries, we don't have an aid package, and at the same time, we are asked not to do something – then there is no object, then what is there to talk about?" the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

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It should be noted that explosions have been occurring more often at Russian oil refineries recently. Russians complain about drone attacks.

The Ukrainian defenders are responsible for these strikes. They have already launched attacks on refineries in several regions, including Tatarstan, which is over a thousand kilometers from Ukraine's border.

Furthermore, according to a recent report from the Financial Times, the United States has urged Ukraine to cease attacks on Russian refineries. Washington's concern over potential fuel price hikes amid a presidential election year, which could impact President Joe Biden's approval ratings, drives this move

At the end of March, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the United States did not react positively to the strikes on Russian refineries. However, the White House cannot limit Ukraine's use of weapons of its own production.

Later, on April 9, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said such attacks could affect global energy. He also advised Ukraine to focus on other goals. At the same time, Austin's assistant Celeste Wallander directly called Russian refineries "civilian targets."

According to the adviser to the head of the President's Office, Mykhailo Podoliak, Ukraine will continue to destroy Russian oil refineries since the Ukrainian military has to attack objects that support the war.

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