Will Freeze Russian Assets: EU To Moscow Amid Ukraine Action
The European Union (EU) on Thursday said it will "freeze assets" of Russia and stop access of its banks to European financial market as the Russian military attacked Ukraine.
New Delhi: The European Union (EU) on Thursday said it will “freeze assets” of Russia and stop access of its banks to European financial market as the Russian military attacked Ukraine. In a statement on Russia’s action against Ukraine, EU president Ursula von der Leyen said the European Union will “weaken Russia’s economic base” and its “capacity to modernise”.
“We will weaken Russia’s economic base and its capacity to modernise. In addition, we will freeze Russian assets in EU and stop access of Russian banks to European financial market. Like with the first package of sanctions, we are closely aligned with partners and allies,” Ursula von der Leyen said.
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The Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania condemned the Russian operation in Ukraine as a “crime against Ukrainian people.” In a joint statement, the three countries’ foreign ministers condemned strongly “the open large scale Russian aggression against the independent, peaceful and democratic Ukraine.” They called it “a blatant violation of the international law, of all international norms and a crime against Ukrainian people that we condemn.”
Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto said the Russian move is “an attack on the security order throughout Europe.”
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Western allies will not stand by as Russia attacks Ukraine. In an early morning call, Johnson told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that he was appalled by events in Ukraine, according to a statement released by the prime minister’s office. “The Prime Minister said the West would not stand by as President Putin waged his campaign against the Ukrainian people,” Johnson’s office said in the statement.
Russia-Ukraine conflict: The story so far
The Russian military said it has knocked out Ukraine’s air defense assets and airbases. The Russian Defense Ministry said the Russian strikes have “suppressed air defense means of the Ukrainian military,” adding that the infrastructure of Ukraine’s military bases has been incapacitated.” It denied the claims that a Russian warplane was shot down over Ukraine.
The Ukrainian military, meanwhile, reported that it has shot down five Russian aircraft while fending off the Russian attack on the country.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he unleashed an attack on Ukraine in a televised address early Thursday, drawing international condemnation.
Big explosions were heard before dawn in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odesa as world leaders decried the start of an invasion that could cause massive casualties, topple Ukraine’s democratically elected government and threaten the post-Cold War balance on the continent.
Ukrainians started fleeing some cities, and the Russian military claimed to have incapacitated all of Ukraine’s air defenses and air bases within hours.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared martial law, saying Russia has targeted Ukraine’s military infrastructure. Ukrainians who had long braced for the prospect of an assault, while never knowing precisely when it would come, were urged to stay home and not to panic even as the country’s border guard agency reported an artillery barrage by Russian troops from neighboring Belarus.
(With inputs from Associated Press)
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