The United States and the European Union have reacted with force and sanctions to the decision of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, to recognize the independence of the pro-Russian separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas, where he is considering sending troops after receiving the unanimous support of the Russian Parliament.
Biden approves sanctions and accuses Putin of violating international law
In a speech from the White House, the president of the United States, Joe Biden, considered today that Putin’s decision represents a “flagrant violation of international law” and demands a firm response from the international community.RELATED
At the same time, the US president announced that he has authorized the sending of soldiers to the Baltic countries – Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, members of NATO and the EU -, in response to Russia’s movements in Ukraine, although he stressed: ” We have no intention of fighting Russia.”
In response to Putin’s decision, Biden announced the imposition of the first round of economic sanctions against Russia, with the aim of isolating it from the Western financial system.
“This is the beginning of an invasion of Ukraine… So I am going to start imposing sanctions in response,” he said.
The EU approves the first package of sanctions against Russia
The foreign ministers of the European Union unanimously agreed today in Paris on a first package of sanctions against Russia, as announced by the head of French diplomacy, Jean-Yves Le Drian.
“The situation is very serious” and “we have unanimously agreed on a first package of sanctions,” Le Drian said at a press conference with the European High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell.
The sanctions, which must be formally approved in the EU, affect a series of 27 entities and individuals, including decision-makers, who have played an important role in attacking Ukraine’s sovereignty, explained Borrell, who added that, in addition, Russia’s financial access “to our financial and capital markets” will be limited, above all to prevent it from being able to finance its debt in European markets.
The sanctions will affect banks that finance Russian military operations in those breakaway territories and trade with the Twenty-Seven in those areas in eastern Ukraine.
In a joint statement, the presidents of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and of the European Council, Charles Michel, indicated that the sanctions that the EU is preparing will be directed against “banks that are financing military and other operations” in Donetsk and Luhansk.
On the other hand, in statements to the France Info chain, Borrell said that there is a “covert invasion” of Ukraine and expressed his opinion that Russia will go further in its military intervention, while referring to the first sanctions package imposed by Brussels to Russia.
The Nord Stream 2, one of the keys to the sanctioning mechanism
Germany, to the applause of the United States, has decided to block the certification of the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, controlled by the Russian energy giant Gazprom, already completed and built with the participation of German companies, which is intended to directly transport gas from Russia to the West of the European Union with entry through German territory and thus avoid transit through Ukraine.
The Russian parliament formalizes the recognition of Donetsk and Lugansk and approves the sending of troops
The Russian Parliament today unanimously approved the recognition of the independence of Donetsk and Lugansk and authorized the sending of troops there.
As Putin explained today at a press conference, the fact that he has received the green light for the deployment of troops in Donbas does not mean that he will do so immediately, but that everything will depend on the development of events and the “situation on the terrain”.
The Russian Ministry of Defense denounced today that the situation in eastern Ukraine is getting worse and that Kiev has concentrated 60,000 soldiers near the borders with Donetsk and Lugansk.
Putin: The Minsk agreements no longer exist
During the press conference, Putin insisted that Moscow recognized the independence of the pro-Russian separatist entities due to Kiev’s refusal to comply with the Minsk Agreements on the peaceful settlement of the conflict.
“The Minsk agreements died long before the recognition of the Donbas republics,” Putin said.
“The Minsk agreements no longer exist,” he said.
NATO warns of a “large-scale” Russian attack on Ukraine
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Russia is still planning a “large-scale” attack on Ukraine and said Moscow has moved from “covert efforts” to destabilize the country to “open military action.”
“Everything indicates that Russia is still planning a large-scale attack in Ukraine,” Stoltenberg told a news conference.
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