Ukrainian ex-minister attacks West for harbouring Russian money

6 March 2022, 13:03 | Updated: 6 March 2022, 13:34

By Seán Hickey

European cities which welcome Russian money into their economies are effectively 'funding the budget' for Putin to invade Ukraine, the former Minister of Defence in Ukraine insists.

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Andriy Zagorodnyuk joined Tom Swarbrick as pressure grows on the West to impose harsher sanctions on Russian elites living outside of Putin's regime.

Tom wondered if the slow response to seize the assets of Russian oligarchs "confirms in the mind of despots like Putin that he can do what he likes."

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Mr Zagorodnyuk admitted that Putin has "built a quite effective system" of support with Russian businesses within the country and across Europe.

Tom wondered if, while Ukraine's Defence Minister, Mr Zagorodnyuk was ripping his hair out at the West's "accommodation of Russia and its influence."

Read more: UN monitors could be on ground to avoid 'Chernobyl-style' incident, says Deputy PM

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"London is not the worst place of all because we at least have the UK government's support in our struggle" the Ukrainian politician admitted. He warned that Ukraine is only the stepping stone of Putin's larger plans.

"Putin isn't aiming just at Ukraine...he wants to destroy NATO, destroy the West and Ukraine is just the first step."

He went on to attack Europe standing by while Russian influence in the West grows: "People funding that budget, funding these crazy scenarios which he is building right now, are being supported by European politicians."

"It's not even hypocrisy, it's a direct support of criminal activity on a huge continental scale."

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