Russia: Nuclear strike would turn Germany into a wasteland
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European Union leaders will stress the inviolability of Ukraine’s border on Thursday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said as he arrived for an EU summit in Brussels amid what the West says may be Russian preparations for an attack on Ukraine.
He said: “We will be discussing the difficult situation of Ukraine.
“The question of what is going on with the troop movements along the border and therefore we will once again emphasise that the inviolability of the borders is one of the very important foundations of peace in Europe and that we all do everything necessary that this inviolability will remain intact.”
Speaking before the new German Chancellor, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda told reporters that the EU has to do everything possible to prevent a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine and should use economic sanctions to stem aggressive Russian behaviour.
He said: “We have to do everything to prevent the worst scenario, which we cannot exclude … military intervention into the territory of Ukraine.
“We have enough tools to stop Russia from its aggressive behaviour … we have to talk about sectorial and also economic sanctions.”
He added NATO should update its contingency plans to take into account that Russia can use the territory of Belarus to prepare an attack on another country.
Slovenia’s prime minister also warned that the bloc is prepared for Russian “surprises”.
Ukraine is currently the main flashpoint between Russia and the West. The United States says Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders, possibly in preparation for an invasion. Moscow says its actions are purely defensive and accuses Kyiv and the West of provocative behaviour.
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Prime Minister Janez Jansa, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, said: “I’m worried because the military concentration, especially on the Ukrainian border with Russia (is) very strong.
“And so there is no doubt that Russia is using military power to make pressure … we are prepared to avoid such kind of surprises we met during the occupation of Crimea.”
Back then, the EU, along with the United States, imposed economic sanctions on Russia, targeting its energy, banking and defence sectors in response.
Jansa declined to give details about what new sanctions were possible, but he said hitting the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany to prevent it becoming operational was also an option.
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He said: “Maybe we get some additional information on what would be the final decision … of the Nord Stream 2.”
The RIA news agency quoted the Russian foreign ministry as saying on Thursday that Russia is ready for constructive work with the West on European security proposals despite differences between the two sides.
The United States said it would share Russia’s proposals for European security with its allies and partners after Moscow handed the proposals over at talks with US Assistant Secretary of State Karen Donfried in the Russian capital on Wednesday.
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg
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