The European Union will impose sanctions against Russia for recognize separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, which is a flagrant violation of international law as well as of the Minsk Accords, officials said on Monday.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Council President Charles Michel said in a joint statement that recognition is “a flagrant violation of international law.”
“The EU and its partners will react with unity, firmness and with determination in solidarity with Ukraine,” they said.
Just before Putin signed the decrees recognizing the two sides held by the pro-Russian rebels of Ukraine and sign them on to a “mutual assistance” pact with Russia, EU foreigner policy chief Josep Borrell warned that sanctions would follow.
Borrell said he would “put the sanctions on Table” for EU foreign ministers will decide whether to adopt them if Putin goes ahead.
The EU has also warned that he would impose unprecedented sanctions on Moscow if it invades Ukraine after deploying around 150,000 soldiers at the border.
Von der Leyen told German broadcaster ARD on Monday morning that “if Vladimir Putin starts a war, we will respond with most powerful leverage we have: Economic and financial penalties, because economy is russia weak point”.
She said: “Financial sanctions would mean that Russia would be virtually cut off off from international financial markets.”