Merkel Says Russian Aggression Against Ukraine Should Lead To EU Sanctions

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The European Union must be prepared to enact more sanctions against Russia if the situation in and around eastern Ukraine or on the Belarusian-Polish border escalates, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.

Merkel spoke with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland on Thursday.

Both Russia and Ukraine held military exercises this week after weeks of escalating tensions between Kiev and Moscow, as thousands of migrants from the Middle East and other hotspots are stranded on the eastern border of the European Union, in what the bloc says is a crisis designed by Belarusian. President Alexander Lukashenko.

In her conversation with Zelenskiy, the outgoing German leader expressed her support, noting that any attempt to undermine Ukraine’s independence “would not go without consequences,” but defusing the situation should always be the preferred option, her spokesperson Steffen Seibert said on Twitter. .

In her Berlin meeting with Morawiecki, Merkel said that the EU had to be united on the issues of Belarus’ “arming” of immigrants against Poland and the deployment of Russian troops near its border with Ukraine.

Poland has deployed military and police to its border with Belarus to prevent groups of migrants from crossing. Morawiecki said that by doing so, Poland was protecting the EU and Germany from a “big wave” of migrants and said the bloc should consider more sanctions against Minsk.

The EU accuses Minsk of bringing immigrants into the country and sending them across EU borders in an attempt to destabilize its western neighbors and the entire bloc. Lukashenko denies that this is the case.

While Merkel said she thought Poland was doing everything it could to prevent further escalation at the border, she expressed concern about the difficult conditions migrants face on both sides.

“We have an interest in people in Belarus being cared for in a humane way,” Merkel said. “We have also discussed the humanitarian situation on the Polish side of the border.”

( Jowharwith REUTERS)