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10 Mar, 2022 10:49

EU must avoid escalation into World War III – bloc’s top diplomat

Brussels will help Ukraine but needs to avoid war with Russia, Josep Borrell cautioned
EU must avoid escalation into World War III – bloc’s top diplomat

The High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell has warned that the European bloc must do what it can to “avoid the escalation of war” amid the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

Speaking to Franceinfo on Thursday, Borrell claimed that Europe will “undoubtedly” deliver weapons and defense equipment to Ukraine as long as the military clashes with Russia last. Despite this offer, he was clear that the EU must be cautious to “avoid going to war with Russia” because that would spark a “third world war.”

In his remarks to the French news outlet, the EU foreign policy chief accused the Russian military of “systematically bombing Ukrainian cities,” floating the threat of prosecution before the International Criminal Court by stating that “President Vladimir Putin will have to answer for these acts.”

The EU representative’s remarks come after the bloc slapped a new round of sanctions on Russia and Belarus over Moscow’s military activity in Ukraine, cutting off Belarusian banks from the SWIFT network, hitting the Russian maritime sector, and imposing restrictions on 160 Russian lawmakers and business people.

While the EU has been seeking to financially punish Russia for the conflict in Ukraine, Borrell was cautious about the possibility of a European embargo on Russian gas and oil, claiming that it is a “difficult” decision for the bloc, as it currently imports a lot of its energy supply from Russia.