Ukrainian President Zelenskyy: 'We don't need your sanctions after the bombardment'

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said imposing sanctions before an incursion would harm diplomacy with the Kremlin.

Updated: February 20, 2022 - 4:48pm

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked Western leaders during a Munich security conference on Saturday why they were waiting to impose sanctions on Russia if they were confident a war would happen.

"You're telling me that it's 100% that the war will start in a couple of days. Then what [are you] waiting for?" Zelensky said, according to CBS News.

"We don't need your sanctions after the bombardment will happen, and after our country will be fired at or after we will have no borders or after we will have no economy or parts of our country will be occupied," he said. "Why would we need those sanctions then?"

"So when you're asking what can be done, well lots of different things can be done. We can even provide you the list. The most important is willingness," he said.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said imposing sanctions before an incursion would harm diplomacy with the Kremlin.

It is better for the West to impose sanctions if Russia invades, "instead of doing it now, because we want to avoid the situation,” he told CNBC. “We want to go in the direction where peace is having a chance.”

While Zelenskyy wants the sanctions to be publicized, Scholz said he prefers them to be vague for now.

"My view is that it makes no sense to make them public. It is good for what we expect to get that the Russian government cannot be really sure exactly what we’ll do," Scholz said.

"They will know approximately what we’re talking about, but they will not know it exactly," he told CNBC.

The German chancellor met with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week. The Kremlin stressed the importance of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will bring gas from Russia to Germany.

While U.S. President Joe Biden promised to shut down the project if Russia invades Ukraine, Scholz was hesitant to commit to the measure. Germany imports more than 75% of its gas from Russia. 

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