West threatens retaliation after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine
Western leaders have issued numerous criticisms and threats of retaliation against Vladimir Putin after the Russian president sent troops into Ukraine.
On Thursday, Putin made his debut start a military invasion Ukraine and demanded that Kyiv’s army lay down its arms in what many fear will be Europe’s worst conflict since the second world war.
António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, warned that if military action led to an “all-out war” it would be difficult to predict the death toll and displacement.
“President Putin: In the name of humanity, bring your troops back to Russia. In the name of humanity do not allow to begin in Europe what could be the worst war since the turn of the century,” said Guterres.
Joe Biden said “the prayers of the whole world are with the people of Ukraine tonight” as the US President accused Putin of waging “a premeditated war that will bring catastrophic loss of life and property”. “.
“Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its allies and partners will respond in a unified and decisive manner. The world will hold Russia accountable,” he said minutes after Putin spoke on Russian television.
Biden added that he will meet his G7 counterparts on Thursday morning and will reveal further measures to punish Russia for the invasion.
Earlier, on Wednesday, the White House said it did not rule out the possibility of imposing sanctions on Putin.
Nato convened an emergency meeting of its top decision-making body as the head of the transatlantic military alliance condemned Russia’s “reckless and unprovoked attack on Ukraine, endangering for countless civilian lives”.
“This is a grave violation of international law and a serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security,” said Jens Stoltenberg, Nato Secretary General. “I call on Russia to cease its military action immediately. . . Nato will do all that is necessary to protect and defend all allies.”
The EU said it would “hold the Kremlin accountable” for “Russia’s unjustified attack on Ukraine”.
“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, ” said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission. “We will hold the Kremlin accountable.”
Boris Johnson, UK prime minister, said he was “appalled by the appalling events in Ukraine”.
“President Putin has chosen the path of bloodshed and destruction by launching this unprovoked attack on Ukraine. Britain and our allies will respond decisively,” he said.
Olaf Scholz, German chancellor, said: “This is a terrible day for Ukraine and a dark day for Europe. Russia’s attack on Ukraine is a clear violation of international law. Germany condemns this reckless act of President Putin in the strongest terms.”
But Zhang Jun, China’s special envoy to the United Nations, said the “door to a peaceful resolution” had not yet completely closed and called on all concerned countries to exercise restraint.
“We hope that all relevant parties will keep a sober and rational attitude, and commit to strengthening dialogue and consultation to resolve relevant issues through negotiations,” Zhang said.
The invasion came just one day after the west impose new sanctions on Russia.
However, China, which has a track record of providing economic support to Moscow during Putin’s confrontation with the West, might help Russia Financial analysts and geopolitical experts believe those penalties will be overcome.
On Wednesday, China’s foreign ministry criticized the use of “unilateral sanctions” and labeled the US as the “culprit” in the Ukraine crisis.
In Tokyo, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida signaled that Japan might impose more sanctions on Russia. “If the situation worsens, we must immediately consider measures to cooperate with international society,” he said.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is in Moscow and is expected to meet Putin on Thursday despite domestic concerns that his trip risks further alienating the US, its ally during the long cold war period. decades that the relationship has deteriorated compared to the latter. relationship with the Taliban.
Edward White in Seoul, Henry Foy in Brussels, Guy Chazan in Berlin, Aimee Williams and Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington, William Langley in Hong Kong, Chloe Cornish in Mumbai and Antoni Slodkowski in Tokyo