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Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, has praised “painful” U.S. sanctions on Russia in response to its military escalation against its neighbour.

“They’re very specific, they are painful,” Kuleba said at a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.

He said Ukrainian government was “puzzled” by Washington’s Monday sanctions in relation to economic activities in Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine.

“We were puzzled, because we saw how the side that sought recognition from Russia is being punished but we didn’t see how Russia, who granted its recognition is punished.

“But we saw it today,” Kuleba said.

The minister also said there was no such thing as minor, middle, or major invasion, “invasion is an invasion.”

Meanwhile, Blinken said Putin’s plan had been to invade Ukraine “all along.”

“Putin’s plan has been to control Ukraine and its people.

“He plans to destroy Ukraine’s democracy, which offers a stark contrast to the autocracy that he leads, to reclaim Ukraine as a part of Russia,” Blinken said. (dpa/NAN)

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