Western governments reacted quickly to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision on Monday to recognize the independence of two self-proclaimed republics in eastern Ukraine, condemning Moscow and calling for sanctions.
The leaders of France, Germany, and the United States slammed Putin’s action as a “clear violation” of the Minsk peace treaties.
French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and US President Joe Biden agreed that “this step will not go unanswered,” according to a statement issued by the German chancellery following their conversation.
United states Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted that Putin’s decision demanded a “quick and firm response,” and that “we will take appropriate steps in coordination with partners.”
The US announced financial sanctions against the newly recognized rebel territories in eastern Ukraine, and warned that more were on the way if necessary.
According to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Russia’s decision is a “violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, as well as inconsistent with the principles of the United Nations Charter.”
Earlier Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron, who was still pushing for a diplomatic solution, called for targeted European Union sanctions against Moscow.
“He is demanding an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council as well as the imposition of targeted European sanctions,” his office said in a statement.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Putin’s decision a “flagrant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and integrity.”
He went on to say that a “very robust package of sanctions” would be triggered “with the first toecap of a Russian incursion or Russian invasion.”
According to German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Moscow is violating the 2014 Minsk peace treaties.
“By making this decision, Russia is breaking all of its promises to the international community,” she said.
According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Putin’s decision “further undermines Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, erodes efforts to resolve the conflict, and violates the Minsk Agreements, to which Russia is a party.”
“Moscow continues to exacerbate the conflict in eastern Ukraine by providing financial and military assistance to separatists.” It is also attempting to create a pretext for another invasion of Ukraine,” he added.
The European Union’s two highest-ranking officials, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, issued identical statements on Twitter.
They condemned Putin’s action as a “blatant violation of international law,” adding that “the EU and its partners will respond with unity, firmness, and determination in solidarity with Ukraine.”
According to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, the Ukraine crisis “could spread in other parts of Europe and the world, particularly in the Western Balkans.”
Romania’s foreign ministry has instructed all of its citizens in Ukraine to “leave the country immediately!”
Mazi Akachukwu Udoka Obinwannem News writers / 22/02/2022