The EU has said it is planning the harshest sanctions package ever against Russia.
As the world awoke to a full scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, with explosions heard in cities across the country, international condemnation of Russian President Vladimir Putin has poured in.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he’s appalled by the invasion, vowing to hit Russia with ‘powerful sanctions’. The EU meanwhile has said it is planning the harshest sanctions package ever against Russia. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that “the target is the stability in Europe and the whole of the international peace order, and we will hold President (Vladimir) Putin accountable for that.”
“We will present a package of massive and targeted sanctions to European leaders for approval,” she said.
The new EU sanctions will be aimed at “strategic sectors” of the Russian economy by blocking access to technologies and key markets, Ms von der Leyen added.
“We will weaken Russia’s economic base and its capacity to modernise,” she added.
U.S. President Joe Biden has called Russia’s attack on Ukraine ‘unprovoked’ and ‘unjustified’. He has said that he will meet with G7 leaders to impose severe sanctions on Ukraine.
Condemnation of Putin has also come from Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau who said: “Canada condemns – in the strongest possible terms – Russia’s egregious attack on Ukraine. These unprovoked actions are a clear further violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and of Russia’s obligations under international law and the Charter of the UN.”
Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said that the “time to act is now.”
He said: “Putin has just launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Peaceful Ukrainian cities are under strikes. This is a war of aggression. Ukraine will defend itself and will win. The world can and must stop Putin.”
German chancellor Olaf Scholz also strongly condemned Russia saying that Putin’s actions were a ‘blatant breach of international law.’ South Korea’s foreign ministry has said that it too will impose sanctions against Russia.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned: “President Putin, in the name of humanity, bring your troops back to Russia. In the name of humanity, do not allow to start in Europe what could be the worst war since the beginning of the century.”
Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward