French President Emmanuel Macron expresses his support for Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz assures that Kiev can count on Germany’s support. Spain pledges to back a “vast, firm set” of economic sanctions against Russia if it launches military action against Ukraine.
President Emmanuel Macron confirmed on Tuesday his support for Ukraine at a press conference with the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin. – There will be a reaction in the event of Russian aggression against Ukraine, and the price will be high – he assured.
– At the same time, we are preparing a common position and a response in the event of aggression – said the French president. He also assessed that Russia it behaves like a “power of imbalance” and its efforts to destabilize the situation in post-Soviet countries such as Belarus, Moldova and the South Caucasus countries “intensify”.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz assured that Kiev could count on Germany’s support and warned Moscow that any threat to the territorial integrity of Ukraine would entail “very high costs for Russia”.
Macron calls for dialogue with Moscow to be maintained
Emmanuel Macron pointed out that Western Europe is “completely united” in its attitude to the threat of Russian attack. At the same time, he emphasized the importance of dialogue with Russia, because it “allows us to clarify the situation and remove ambiguities.” Macron called for “not to deviate” from dialogue with Moscow.
– Discussion with Russia is always difficult, and since I got involved in it again in 2019, I was able to see it for myself – he added. “It is important to maintain contact and conversation channels,” he concluded. A telephone conversation with Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin is scheduled for Friday, the AFP agency reported.
Spain warns of “extensive, firm set” of sanctions
Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares said European nations had resources other than power to dissuade Russia from military intervention in Ukraine, including those that would have “enormous economic consequences and high costs” for Russia.
– For reasons of confidentiality and the need to maintain uncertainty as a deterrent, I will not go into detail. However, I can assure you that it will be a vast, firm set of sanctions, said Albares to the Spanish Parliament.
The Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs assessed that Russia still seemed to be engaged in the dialogue. “Although no tangible progress has been made,” he admitted.
Spain warns its citizens against traveling to Ukraine. – The coming weeks will be decisive. The Spanish government is prepared for any eventuality, he assured.
Source: There are all options on the table
“There is every option on the table when it comes to sanctions,” a high-ranking EU official told reporters in Brussels when asked if sanctions could apply to the Russian energy and banking system.
He pointed out that a possible reaction of the European Union – very strong – would depend on whether Russia behaves aggressively towards Ukraine. He emphasized that this attack may take various forms: a wide offensive, but also a precise operation aimed at a specific point or a cyber attack.
He also reported that in recent days and weeks, Western countries have been actively sharing intelligence information on the situation in eastern Ukraine and on its borders with Russia.
The official said the US, EU and NATO are coordinating their written response to Russia’s demands for the North Atlantic Alliance and Ukraine. He added that the answer was unlikely to be a detailed discussion of these requirements, but would contain elements related to the Russian position, and would also point to Russian actions that are alarming for Europe.
Main photo source: MICHELE TANTUSSI / PAP / EPA