Ursula von der Leyen said that large-scale sanctions against Russia in case of its further aggression against Ukraine have already been developed.
The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that large-scale sanctions against Russia in the event of its further aggression against Ukraine have already been prepared. She said this in an interview with the French weekly newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, published on Saturday evening, December 25.
When asked by the journalists how to get more respect from Russia, Ursula von der Leyen replied: “By making it see that any further aggression against Ukraine will be met with sanctions followed by large-scale consequences. They are already prepared. European countries are united and act in concert with the United States and NATO. We want good relations with Russia, but it depends on its actions. Russia must stop the provocations.”
Answering the question whether the dialogue between Russia and the United States will slow down the process of Ukraine’s integration with NATO and the EU and whether it will affect other countries, such as Armenia or Georgia, the head of the European Commission noted: “We deeply respect the sovereignty of these countries, as well as their territorial integrity and their ability to decide their own fate. I know that the United States shares these principles. In other words, the Ukrainian people must decide their future.”
Russia’s military presence near Ukraine's borders
In connection with the build-up of the Russian military presence near the borders of Ukraine, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on December 16, proposing to disconnect Russia from the worldwide SWIFT financial transactions network in the event of full-scale aggression. In turn, Moscow opposes Ukraine’s accession to NATO and demands security guarantees from the North Atlantic Alliance and the United States, but Western countries are ready to engage in dialogue only on condition of de-escalation at the Ukrainian border.
To discuss the conflict over Ukraine, Germany and Russia agreed to hold a meeting of high-ranking representatives of the two countries in early January. Advisor to the Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz – Jens Plötner – and the special representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Ukraine Dmitry Kozak will hold comprehensive talks on the conflict between Moscow and Kiev. On December 23, Olaf Scholz has already held telephone talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.