Following demands for a prompt reaction after Vladimir Putin threatened to use nuclear weapons in his war against Ukraine, Europe is preparing to strike Russia with new sanctions.
On Wednesday, the Russian tyrant declared a significant uptick in the conflict, mobilizing 300,000 Russian reservists and threatening to use "all resources" at his disposal to prevail. "This is not a bluff," according to Putin.
Immediately, Western friends condemned the action. Putin's proposal was considered a sign of "desperation" by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and "a new mistake" by French President Emmanuel Macron. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden stated that Putin's threats should "make your blood run cold." when speaking at the U.N. in New York.
"Well, Putin is showing his weakness now, because what you see is that he plans to mobilize personnel that is less trained, less experienced, less motivated. And he wants to start a referendum on Ukrainian sovereign soil " Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, stated in an interview with CNN on Wednesday. "I think this calls for sanctions from our side again."
Officials from the European Commission were already secretly developing ideas for a fresh set of penalties on Moscow in Brussels. Putin's comments on Wednesday reaffirmed the need for fresh initiatives.
Josep Borrell, the head of EU foreign policy, stated at a news conference in New York late on Wednesday that there was unanimous agreement among EU foreign ministers to implement extra measures, including against "sectors and persons," without providing any other information.
According to Borrell, "Additional restrictive measures against Russia will be brought forward immediately, as soon as possible in cooperation with our partners." He also stated that the EU will continue to arm Ukraine militarily.
"Putin wants us to be frightened, he wants us to fragment our unity as we think about nuclear," according to Estonia's foreign minister, Urmas Reinsalu. "The most important thing is to communicate by doing. We need to ramp up weapons aid to Ukraine immediately. We need to immediately increase sanctions."
According to four officials, the European Commission will begin sharing its sanctions plan with EU nations as early as this Friday. The G7's proposed ceiling on the price of Russian oil, the naming of additional Kremlin-affiliated persons, and fresh sanctions against the trade in luxury goods with Russia are some of the measures being considered.
Since a Ukrainian counteroffensive proven shockingly successful, Putin's war has been waning. Ukrainian military reclaimed large areas of land in the country's north after receiving precise weaponry from Western partners. Putin was left feeling humiliated as a result, and Western friends think this is what prompted him to become more vehement in his address on Wednesday.
The Western military leadership responded with a show of unanimity and calm. There is currently no need to alter policy, according to a spokeswoman for Biden's national security council.
One ambassador from Western Europe stated, "Mobilization is a sign of weakness. I don’t expect a qualitative change in the Western response; we will continue to support Ukraine."
Artis Pabriks, the minister of defense for Latvia, claimed that "this speech was designed to have an impact it should not."
He said that "Nothing should be changed in the Western response" and that Ukraine should continue to get support.
According to Charly Salonius-Pasternak, the leading researcher at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, stated, "I don't think it will, and I don't think it should change support for Ukraine."
Russia's propaganda may not accurately represent reality, according to officials.
According to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg spoke to Reuters, "So far we have not seen any changes in the nuclear posture, the nuclear readiness." The NATO chief said that Russia's mobilization effort "will take time."
Whether Putin's remarks will have an impact on the sorts of military systems that Western partners are prepared to provide to Ukraine is still unknown.
"I still think there'll be some reluctance — with the Ukrainian military doing as well as it is right now — to escalate," according to Seth G. Jones, director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies' International Security Program.
According to Jones, there will likely be a readiness to continue offering weapons, training, and information "for the foreseeable future."
It is, however, uncertain at this time "to what degree NATO countries are going to be willing to provide more sophisticated types of weapons systems," he added.
By fLEXI tEAM