Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell did not say what the EU would do if Russia will not withdraw troops from the border.
Tensions are high between Ukraine and Russia at the moment, as Russia has moved large amounts of military equipment to the Ukrainian border. Some fear that Russia is preparing for an invasion. In contrast, others say that what is happening is a negotiation technique from the Russian side, trying to broker peace in Eastern Ukraine on Russian terms.
We have at Ukrainenu written a long piece about the recent developments, exploring the questions of whether war is about to break out again. Recently, American President Joe Biden supported Ukraine, and the EU is now doing the same.
“This situation is very dangerous, and we call on Russia to withdraw their troops from the Ukrainian border,” said Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell, according to Unian, “All in all, the relations with Russia are not improving, but on the contrary, the tension is increasing.”
No sanctions at the moment
Borrell’s statement came after the German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull his troops back from the border. Borrell said that the EU Council would discuss Russias actions near the Ukrainian border soon. They will also discuss the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the Czech Republic and the situation with Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
“I got a letter from his team. We are very much worried about the health situation of Mr. Navalny,” Borrell said, adding that all 27 EU member states are asking the Russian Federation to provide Navalny with the necessary medical assistance.
According to Borrell, there are currently 150,000 Russian troops near the border. While Borrell raises concern, the EU has not agreed on further sanctions at this point.
Ukraine: We are ready
Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, has been travelling abroad for the last few weeks, trying to gather support against Russia. He recently said that he hopes for international aid and clarifies that Ukraine is ready to defend itself.
“Unlike 2014, now in 2021, Ukraine and the world are ready and will not allow themselves to be caught off their guard, no matter what the Kremlin might come up with,” Kuleba said, according to Unian, “The experience of 2014 taught us several simple truths. First, you can expect anything from Russia. Second, when foreseeing Russia’s actions, you need to be prepared in advance and not let yourself be caught off guard. We have learned from this experience well.”
To be prepared, the Ukrainian Secret Service SBU is conducting drills around Ukraine at the moment “to practising actions to protect strategically important facilities and state borders.”
Russia blames Ukraine
While Ukraine, the EU and the U.S. blame Russia for the recent escalation of the conflict, Russia blames Ukraine for the recent developments, saying that Ukraine is breaking the ceasefire that was put in place last summer. Russia has also said that it is investigating the death of a five-year-old boy in Donetsk, a city controlled by the Russian-backed separatists.
“We don’t have any plans for military intervention. But we are carefully monitoring the situation, and depending on how it develops, we will take concrete steps,” said Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s security council, according to Kommersant newspaper.
“Vladimir Putin noted provocative actions by Kyiv which is deliberately inflaming the situation along the line of contacts,” said a statement by the Kremlin after Putin spoke with Merkel.
More than 13,000 people have lost their lives since the war broke out in Eastern Ukraine back in 2014 after the Maidan Revolution.