Russia Ukraine conflict

EU to hold Russia ‘accountable’ for Ukraine attack, prepares new sanctions

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The European Union will hold Russia “accountable” for its attack on Ukraine and is preparing fresh sanctions that will deal “massive and severe consequences” to Moscow, the bloc’s chiefs said on Thursday.

“We strongly condemn Russia’s unjustified attack on Ukraine,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel each wrote on Twitter.

“In these dark hours, our thoughts are with Ukraine and the innocent women, men and children as they face this unprovoked attack and fear for their lives,” they said.

“We will hold the Kremlin accountable.”

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EU leaders are to hold a snap summit late Thursday.

In a joint statement, von der Leyen and Michel said the summit will “discuss the crisis and further restrictive measures” that “will impose massive and severe consequences on Russia for its actions”.

The European Commission will outline to leaders the new sanctions, which will add to an initial round of sanctions imposed on Wednesday after President Vladimir Putin recognized rebel-held parts of Ukraine as independent.
Von der Leyen and Michel said they expected the EU leaders “will adopt them swiftly.”

“We are coordinating our response with our international partners, including NATO and G7 whose leaders will meet today (Thursday),” they said.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday described the Russian military operation in Ukraine as “a glaring violation” of international law on a “dark day” for Europe.

“Germany condemns in the strongest possible terms this unscrupulous act by President Putin. Our solidarity goes out to Ukraine and its people,” he added in a statement.

Scholz, whose country currently holds the presidency of the G7 forum, said it was “a terrible day for Ukraine.”

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