The Ukrainian foreign minister said on Wednesday Ukrainians and Russians are two separate nations.
Kuleba was responding to remarks by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said he considers Russian and Ukrainians as one nation.
Asked at an annual Direct Line TV program as to why Ukraine was not put on the list of states unfriendly to Russia, Putin said he does not think the Ukrainians are unfriendly to Russia and that in his opinion Russians and Ukrainians are one nation.
“Ukrainians and Russians are two separate nations. We could live as good neighbors had Russia not attacked Ukraine in 2014, killing thousands of people, occupying our lands. Full responsibility for the abyss between our nations lies with Putin who launched the aggression,” Kuleba said.
As for Putin’s saying Ukraine is managed by the US, Kuleba said, “He [Putin] wishes Ukraine issues were decided in Moscow.”
Russia and Ukraine have been at loggerheads since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea after a controversial referendum in a move not recognized by the US, UN General Assembly, or Turkey, among many others.
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