North Korea supplying arms to Russia would not significantly change the course of the war, a former Ukrainian president has suggested.
Speaking about reports that Vladimir Putin may welcome Kim Jong Un in Russia to discuss potential arms deals this month, Petro Poroshenko told Sky News it highlights Mr Putin’s “complete isolation” during the conflict.
He said Moscow’s “friends” are North Korea, Syria and Iran, which he called “international pariahs”.
“North Korea ammunition definitely will not help Russia even to stop [the] Ukrainian counteroffensive operation,” Mr Poroshenko said.
However, he said if North Korea does supply weapons, Kyiv would demand more arms from Western partners and the creation of tougher sanctions on countries which provide arms aid to Russia.
Counteroffensive ‘not like Hollywood’ and West should ‘trust Ukraine’
Asked about the progress of Kyiv’s counteroffensive, Mr Poroshenko told Sky News “it is not [like] Hollywood” where you “sit with the popcorn” – and is a “very difficult operation”.
He said he has attended funerals for three of his closest friends only this week.
The former president urged the West to “trust” Ukraine, and confirmed that Ukrainian forces have broken through the first Russian defence lines.
“Now the situation is a little bit more optimistic than before,” he added.