Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on the West Wednesday to “kill Russian exports” as a price for Moscow’s invasion of his country, asking the world not to finance the Kremlin’s “war machine”.
“My message is very simple. Kill Russian exports,” Kuleba said at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
“Stop buying from Russia. Stop allowing them to make money which they can invest in the war machine that destroys, kills, rapes and tortures people in Ukraine.”
He conceded that such an export ban should not include “critical items that the West needs”.
Russia has faced a barrage of international sanctions over its invasion, launched three months ago, but Kyiv has called for pressure on Moscow to be increased.
Kuleba said Ukraine’s economy is “suffering more from the Russian destruction and attacks than the Russian economy suffers from sanctions”.
“As long as Russia makes money on selling oil and gas, their pockets are pretty full,” he said.
Kuleba called on restrictions for the shipping industry, which carries Russian oil around the world.
“The vast majority of Russian oil sold to the global market is carried by maritime means,” Kuleba said.
“If you tell the shipping industry that everyone carrying Russian oil anywhere in the world will face problems, this will be a big issue.”
The foreign minister also called an earlier Russian proposal to lift sanctions against Moscow over its Ukraine invasion to avoid a global food crisis “blackmail”.
“This is clear blackmail,” Kuleba said after a Russian deputy foreign minister suggested unblocking Ukrainian ports in exchange for lifting sanctions.
Russia’s invasion has disrupted supplies of fertiliser, wheat and other commodities from both countries.