Europe imposes sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis and coordinates pressure with the United States

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Russian forces across Ukraine are still in position for a large-scale invasion of Ukraine without warning, after NATO representatives on Tuesday met with Ukrainian officials. “Every indication is that Russia continues to plan a large-scale attack on Ukraine,” he said, adding, “It is never too late not to launch an attack.”

If Mr. Putin sends troops beyond the line of communication, “I think that’s the full price of European sanctions,” he said. Natalie TucciDirector of the Institute of International Affairs in Italy. “But if he sticks only to the occupied territories, there will likely be a long and divisive debate.”

Ms. Tucci added that the EU could not afford not to reach an agreement. So, if Mr. Putin does not go further now, it is possible that even Poland and the Baltic states, despite their strong opinions about punishing the Kremlin hard and fast, will accept a partial set of sanctions, as will Hungary, which is more professional. – Russia, but it has always accepted sanctions against Moscow, even while complaining about it.

“The irony of the situation is that the worse it is for Ukraine, the easier it is for us to stick together,” said Ms. Tucci.

“The EU sanctions package has been carefully compiled to avoid divisions,” he said. Emre Baker, the European director of the Eurasia Group, a risk advisory firm. “Moving swiftly for the first set of targeted measures will help bolster unity, while paving the way for more substantive measures with follow-up sanctions.”

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What the bloc has agreed to so far is a partial set of sanctions, mostly linked to Russian recognition of separatist enclaves. Sanctions do not include key items such as Russian energy companies, which will now be more controversial among member states with varying reliance on Russian natural gas and oil.

The sanctions target 27 individuals and entities, including political, military, commercial and financial organizations, as well as “propagandaists” associated with the recognition decision.

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