Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told CNN on Thursday that he believes Russian troops will "quite soon" aim to capture one-third of the land in Ukraine and that Moscow will use it to strengthen its negotiating hand.
“I see the Russian troops regrouping, reorganizing. I think that they will try to surround the Ukrainian forces quite soon — in the Donbas region in particular. And then having captured one-third of the land in Ukraine, they will want to negotiate from this … very strong position,” the prime minister told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview.
In a virtual address to the Australian parliament on Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for further sanctions on Russia and warned of great implications to global security if Russia isn’t stopped.
Speaking to Amanpour, Morawiecki said that Ukraine’s allies needed to continue imposing a “crushing set of sanctions.”
Moscow is “fearful of long-term sanctions,” he told CNN. “We are advocating for confiscating their assets, and doing everything possible to stop buying Russian oil and gas.”
Despite the fact that Western allies have already imposed harsh sanctions, the prime minister warned that the price of the Russian ruble remained largely stable and that it was proof that “for the time being, Putin and his people were able to change the fiscal policy, monetary policy, financial policy in such a way that they are immune to the sanctions to some extent ... at least for the next several months.”
“For the next weeks and the next couple of months, Russia is prepared for this war. I’m not so sure if the West, if the United States, the European Union and NATO are as prepared. … Our public opinion will get tired of this war,” he said.
Morawiecki also warned that while the “Ukrainians are fighting with lionhearts,” the West needs to urgently increase its supply of weaponry into the country, making a direct appeal to the United States to "act quickly, please act quickly as they [Ukraine] are fighting for our values, our universal values."
“We have to help Ukrainians to defend their country as quickly as possible. Our days is their hours, our weeks [are] their days; they need weapons here and now. … Russia is a big country, a big country of lots of commodities, raw materials, resources … They have a big army. This is why they can again and again regroup and reorganize,” he added.