US, UK and EU leaders discussed 'unprecedented package of sanctions' against Russia World leaders discussed online efforts to contain 'Russian aggression' and agreed to impose new sanctions against Moscow if situation in Ukraine escalates
Joe Biden and Boris Johnson (on screen)
US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as well as the leaders of several European countries, the European Union and NATO discussed the development of the situation around Ukraine, including sanctions against Russia in the event of an escalation of the conflict. This is reported by The Mirror.
Politicians discussed online efforts to contain “Russian aggression”, including by preparing serious economic costs for Moscow and strengthening the defense of NATO's eastern flank.
As a result of the meeting, it was decided that in the event of an “invasion” on Ukraine against Russia, it is necessary to introduce an “unprecedented package of sanctions.” At the same time, the leaders stressed that diplomatic negotiations are “a top priority.” “They also agreed that the international community should not tolerate any action that undermines the sovereignty of Ukraine,” — added to the press service of the British Prime Minister.
Threats of new sanctions against Russia from European states began to emerge last fall, when Western media and officials reported that a Russian “invasion” was being prepared. to Ukraine. Expected dates were repeatedly called. Moscow denied all accusations. President Vladimir Putin pointed out that it is the NATO countries that continue to create hotbeds of tension near the borders of Russia.
Earlier, The Telegraph reported that the British Prime Minister supported the idea of disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT system. In addition, according to the publication, he does not exclude the imposition of sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
At the same time, the German publication Handelsblatt, citing government sources, indicated that the United States and EU countries refused consider the possibility of disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT system. According to sources, this move could destabilize financial markets in the short term and contribute to the creation of an alternative payment infrastructure that will no longer be dominated by Western countries.
In addition, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg previously also ruled out the gas sector and Nord Stream 2. among the objects that may be affected by potential sanctions. He explained that 40% of Austria's gas comes from Russia, so the state has a certain dependence that cannot be changed instantly.
On January 18, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and security policy, Josep Borrell ruled out the imposition of preventive sanctions against Russia. “We are discussing what to do if something happens. <…> If we need to act, we will have to act,— he explained.
Preventive measures against Russia were insisted, in particular, by the former Special Representative of the US State Department for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, who asked not to wait until it was “too late.” President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly called for them.
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