The Union says it will have to resort to the toughest sanctions against Russia. However, this is probably not afraid of economic consequences. The current threat of sanctions has not deterred Russia from invading Ukraine. What sanctions do you think should occur?
We must do what we can. At the moment, it turns out that the sanctions that have been imposed on Russia so far have been in vain. Russia did nothing about them. I have been saying all along that the Russian of the Putin concept only understands forces. We were to demonstrate the strength to fear that if he attacked Ukraine, he would be attacked militarily. We couldn’t do that. He tested us. He tested us by invading Ukraine. It is an act of military aggression, the war has begun.
What we need to do now before we move on to offer direct military assistance to Ukraine, such as air support, missile support and other things we can do from our territory without sending our troops on the battlefield, is at least sanctioned.
The premiere of Petr Fiala (ODS) will take place at the European Council today. He told a news conference that he would enforce the harshest sanctions. In my view, Russia’s complete isolation can work. Economic, political and diplomatic.
Cut off political relations, cut off air relations, start applying sanctions that completely disconnect Russia from the financial markets. That means from SWIFT. Make every effort to ensure that Russia has no money and that the money that Russia and the Russians have abroad is immediately frozen. It is no longer possible to think about any investments in Russia, any business, the purchase of goods. We cannot imagine exporting technologies to Russia, which Russia then uses against us. What we need to do is isolate Russia as much as possible and not give it access to money.
The money he has around the world, the money he earns from selling fossil fuels. We must prepare for the fact that it will hurt us as well.
Does that mean we should stop taking Russian gas?
The moment we take gas from Russia and pay for it, the money is being used against us. We need to find an alternative. It will hurt. But we are lucky that it is not a harsh winter and that spring is approaching.
However, it cannot be assumed that the conflict will end by next winter…
However, we have some time to deal with it. There are other options. We must make the most of them.
Should all air traffic be interrupted?
Yes, complete isolation. Total insulation. In everything. Russia must not have access to money, to technology. I must not have contact with my allies who are among us. We must isolate the Russians who are here and are connected to the Putin regime as much as possible. On the contrary, we must support the Russians who fled from Putin and use them. What would be very, very important for the most respected Western states to be heard is an appeal to Russian officers to sided with us. To get rid of Putin’s Russia. If they are real Russian patriots, then you must go to our side and get rid of Russia once and for all.
How long do you think Ukraine could resist Russian aggression? The Russian army is in a huge advantage.
It depends on how determined the Ukrainians are. Their army is not as bad as it was in 2014. But of course it depends mainly on the extent to which we are ready and able to help them. If we provide them with direct military support, such as missile or air support, we can help a lot and the Russians will feel it. Of course, that means we are on the threshold of World War III. But we can’t do otherwise.
Should NATO send troops to Ukraine in the worst case?
We should be ready. If the President of Ukraine turns to us for direct help – he is asking for material support so far – then we should provide it. I mean the North Atlantic Alliance as a whole. I’m not saying we should send our troops to the battlefield right now. Military aid can be from the air. We would be involved in combat operations. Of course, we can offer anti-chemical units, field hospitals, logistics facilities, help transport Ukrainian soldiers to our hospitals. But it is also about direct combat support.
Putin has threatened to have dire consequences for those countries involved in the conflict.
Russia is a nuclear power and he bets on that.
Do you perceive the threat of nuclear war beyond his words?
Yes. The man is completely insane, he’s a dangerous lunatic. We are ready for a nuclear conflict and we must be the first to act in such a situation. Because the best defense is attack.
What do you mean?
Decommission their nuclear weapons.
You said the West should appeal to Russian officers to join us. Putin also appealed to the Ukrainian ones. Do you think that some Ukrainians are running over?
This may happen, but I would rather expect it to be the second. Gradually, thanks to Putin, Ukrainians became more patriots and patriots. What Putin is doing today is a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions for any Russian who is a little judicial.
Putin is angry against his brotherly nation, which has a number of ties. These are not Chechens. Kiev is not Grozny. Something terrible must be happening in the heads of the Russians. Therefore, they should be offered that if they go to our side and stand up to Putin, they will be treated like heroes.