Transcript: Oksana Markarova, Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. on "Face the Nation," February 20, 2022

MARGARET BRENNAN Thank you, Madam Ambassador. I have a question for you regarding the horrific reports from Mariupol. 

Transcript: Oksana Markarova, Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. on "Face the Nation," February 20, 2022

Local government officials said that the Russian military was moving people into camps before moving them out. Are you able to give us any information about what's happening on the ground

UKRAINIAN AMBASSADOR to THE UNITED STATES OKSANA MARKAROVA : We are hearing horrific reports about the targeting of the school, an art school with 400 people hiding in its basement. Also, we hear about retirement homes in the Crimean and other places where more than 50 people were killed by shelling. What happens in Mariupol is a prime example of war crime. You mean that they surrounded the city with no food and no supplies for 13 days. They then tried to put up a resistance for 14 hours. Instead of opening humanitarian corridors, as we agreed, and letting people get out and getting supplies in to the city, Russians want to destroy it. The fighting continues in the city. We send our deepest sympathies to Mariupol and are doing everything we can to support them on the diplomatic front.

MARGARET BRENAN: Does the government know where these people are being relocated? The reference to camps was made in comparison to World War Two when Nazis forced people into other countries.

AMB. MARKAROVA : We saw it in again. I won't--to say any information we don't know the exact proof of. We hear the reports, and we have it. But we also saw it in smaller cities that were taken by the Russians. They would allow people to leave the prison. They would either try to call our mayors and imprison or cage the activists and put them in prison. This is the M.O. of these war criminals. We see protests in all cities, you know. Even in cities like Kherson, where we live every day. People are protesting against Russians. Not only the armed forces but also the police. They should all be allowed to return home.

MARGARET BRENNAN - This week, the president gave an emotional speech to Congress. Congress approved $13 billion for emergency assistance to Ukraine. Your president made a personal appeal for President Biden to lead the nation of this great country, as well as to be the leader of the entire world. This week, President Biden will be going to NATO. What do you think he should do to lead the world. What are the U.S. doing wrong?

AMB. MARKAROVA. Well, we have seen extraordinary leadership from the U.S. over the past three weeks and deterring Putin prior to the war, as well as trying and helping us a lot in the first weeks-of-this war. We all need to realize that, even though we are all united in our efforts to help Ukraine, Putin doesn't change his behavior. It's quite different. It's quite different. It's clear that all civilized people need to take action. Ukrainians won't give up. We will defend our homes. We have no other option. It's clear that we don't have any other choice.

MARGARET BRENNAN - Ukraine's constitution refers to joining NATO. However, your president said just a few days back that Ukrainians have to admit that the West has indicated that Ukraine will not be a NATO member. Does he intend to signal more diplomatic opportunities there? It seems like diplomacy is going nowhere.

AMB. MARKAROVA. If a murderous maniac is caught attacking someone on the streets, should we ask the victim, or the person? To stay alive, what is your leg? Arm? What are you willing to do to stay alive? We call the police. This is stopped and we then discuss how we can help the victim and punish the criminal. This is where I believe we are at the moment. Our armed forces and our people are being heroically defended by us. Our president has stated from the beginning that we want this to end. We are open to negotiations. Negociation does not necessarily mean surrender. We are not willing to compromise our dreams, territorial sovereignty, or integrity. We are willing to negotiate with the evil enemy to end it. We are asking our allies and friends to support us in A: fighting successfully but also to apply all pressure to Russia so that it negotiates.

MARGARET BRENAN: This week, Secretary of State Blinken stated that Russia's withdrawal from the country will not meet the U.S. standard to lift sanctions. This must be the beginning of something more permanent. What vision is he trying to convey here? What is the Ukrainian vision of the future?

AMB. MARKAROVA We've lost people. Many of our cities have been or are still being destroyed. We've lost 60 universities completely. They're gone. This must stop. They must stop and get out of Ukraine. We must also talk about reparations, security guarantees and all other issues. This attack is not the first. Russia attacked us in 2014. Russia attacked us in 1918. We know now that Russia's goal in this is the same as its past: to destroy Ukraine.

MARGARET BRENNAN : Ambassador, we appreciate your time as always. We'll be back shortly.


 

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