EU urges Russia to take de-escalating measures in Ukraine
Officials in the European Council renew their accusations to Russia of a possible invasion of Ukraine, threatening to impose more sanctions in the event of one.
Following Washington and the West's claims that Russia will possibly invade Ukraine, President of the European Council Charles Michel said today, Wednesday, that "the choice today is a choice between war and tragic sacrifices that would go along with that war or the courage of a political engagement, the courage of a diplomatic negotiation."
During the plenary session of the European Parliament to discuss the relationship with Russia and the situation in Ukraine, Michel clarified that "the situation in Eastern Europe is critical because Russia has increased its military power around Ukraine despite saying it won't use military power against it."
He added, "We call Russia to take serious and tangible actions towards de-escalation," emphasizing on the sanctions the EU prepares in case Russia invades Kyiv.
As for President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, she said "We are seeing the largest buildup of troops since the Cold War," adding that the EU "hopes Russia will not decide to unleash further violence."
Von der Leyen made it clear that if the situation escalates, Europe's response will be strong and united.
EU High Representative Josep Borrell also had a word during the session, during which he stressed that the EU supports Ukraine in avoiding war on its borders, adding that the Ukrainian crisis is "a threat to Europe's security."
This comes after Russia announced the completion of its joint military exercises with Belarus and the return of part of its troops from Crimea to their permanent locations, a step some Western officials saw as reassuring about Russia's unwillingness to deploy military troops beyond its borders.
The West has been threatening Russia with sanctions in case of an escalation while fueling one through deploying troops all over Europe and providing Kyiv with arms, violating the Minsk agreement, as the latter amassed over 120,000 soldiers on the Donbas borders.