By Claire Gordon • 23 December 2021 • 19:15
US considering labelling Russia a state sponsor of terrorism
Josep Borrell, the EU’s top diplomat, has accused Russia of creating “a severe deterioration of the security situation in Europe” as tensions rise between the country and the Bloc. He made the claim about European security while calling for a proper dialogue to avoid conflict at the Ukraine border.
The EU’s high representative for foreign policy was responding to Vladimir Putin’s list of demands that were handed over to the US and NATO last week. As the EU are part of the west’s coordinated response to Russia’s military buildup on the border with Ukraine, Borrell has weighed in.
The list of demands included a rollback of Nato presence across Eastern Europe, limiting their troop and arms deployment in the area and effectively returning Nato forces to where they were in 1997. They also want a ban on Ukraine from entering NATO.
On Wednesday Borrell spoke to the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, where they “took note” of Russia’s proposals, according to an EU account of the call. “They underlined that any further military aggression against Ukraine will have massive consequences and severe costs,” the EU statement said.
A US state department spokesperson used similar language to describe the exchange: “They emphasised the need for coordinated action to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and reaffirmed that any further Russian military aggression against Ukraine would have massive consequences for the Russian Federation”. This comes weeks after Joe Biden threatened sanctions for the country if troops were not repealed.
The worries over European security come after months of escalation at the Ukraine border and weeks of growing rhetoric from the Kremlin. Putin has said the west of “coming with its missiles to our doorstep”, as fears grow he is looking for a pretext to invasion.
EU leaders have stopped short of detailing specific sanctions against Russia, but last week agreed that “any further military aggression against Ukraine will have massive consequences and severe cost in response”, as reported by the Guardian.
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