Brussels/Moscow, Dec 17 (EFE).- Western leaders have told Russia that any military action against Ukraine would be met with severe consequences amid a Russian troop buildup near the Ukrainian border.
Following an EU leaders’ summit on Thursday night, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said that if Moscow “were to move against Ukraine, the Union would be in a position to take sanctions that could extract a massive cost.”
European Council president Charles Michel also warned of “massive consequences” in the event of Russian aggression, and said the EU was “ready to coordinate measures that are concrete and operational.”
Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said Friday “any further aggression against Ukraine would have massive consequences and would carry a high price.”
Stoltenberg said that the Russian military build-up along the Ukrainian border “is unprovoked, unjustified and creates great concern among Nato allies,” and called on Moscow to de-escalate and abide by its international commitments.
The EU also reiterated its commitment to open dialogue and urged Moscow to seek a diplomatic solution.
Russia, meanwhile, on Friday wanted guarantees from Nato and the United States that the bloc would not expand eastwards and stop deploying weapons to Ukraine, which since 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula, has made joining the alliance a priority.
Moscow wants legally binding guarantees against eastward Nato expansion and the deployment of weapons close to the border of Ukraine, with which it shares historic cultural and social relations. EFE