The war Russian President Vladimir Putin is waging against Ukraine is also “a war against the unity of Europe”, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Sunday.
“We must not let ourselves be divided, we must not let the great work of a united Europe that we have begun so promisingly be destroyed,” he said in a speech in the western German city of Paderborn.
“This war is not just about the territory of Ukraine, it is about the double shared foundation of our values and our order of peace,” he said.
But defending these values also means being prepared to “accept significant disadvantages”, he warned, without giving further details.
“Are we ready for that? We are all facing this question -- today and in the days, weeks and months to come,” he said.
“Russia is not only questioning the borders, it is not only occupying the territories of an independent and sovereign neighboring state, it is even challenging the statehood of Ukraine,” he added.