EU warns of Russia sanctions blowback
Brussels is committed to imposing new sanctions on Moscow if Russia attacks Ukraine, even though there would be an enormous cost for EU nations, the president of the European Council said on Sunday.
Speaking to the Munich Security Conference, Charles Michel admitted that economic measures imposed on the Kremlin would not be painless for EU citizens.
“One thing is certain: if there is further military aggression, we will react with massive sanctions. The cost for Russia must be, and will be, severe. But let's be frank, it will also be a cost for us, in Europe,” Michel admitted.
The EU official also reiterated that Brussels fully supports Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and democracy. Then he lashed out at the Kremlin for its alleged attempts to weaken Western support of Kiev and undermine the democratic will of Ukrainians. According to Michel, Moscow believes that any democratic regime close to its borders is an existential threat.
The Eurocrat also stated that recently Brussels decided to allocate € 1.2 billion to help Kiev resist potential Russian incursion. “We should also deepen the political and economic rapprochement with Ukraine,” he added.
These comments come as tensions in eastern Ukraine continue to grow. Russia stands accused of placing over 100,000 troops on the border, allegedly with the intent to invade. Moscow has repeatedly denied the accusation, stating that it is conducting drills in the area.
The armed conflict in Ukraine began in 2014, following the events of the Maidan, when violent street protests toppled the democratically elected government in Kiev. Shortly after, two regions declared themselves independent states, named the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) People’s Republics. Earlier this week, the Russian State Duma adopted a resolution urging Putin to recognize their independence.