EU warns Russia: “Aggression comes at a price”

The European Union on Friday warned Russia that it would face consequences if it invaded Ukraine, as the new German chancellor called for talks to resolve tensions after Moscow amassed troops on the border with its neighbor from the southwest. “Aggression has to come at a price, which is why we will communicate these points to Russia in advance,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at a joint press conference with Olaf Scholz.

Ukraine accuses Russia of preparing for a possible large-scale military offensive. The Kremlin denies planning an attack. Von der Leyen said the EU would not publicly discuss “sanctions and other measures in the economic and financial sectors” that the 27-nation bloc will take with its partners against Moscow in the event of an invasion.

“We want good relations with Russia, but above all it depends on how Russia behaves. Russia takes a threatening position towards its neighbors and this compromises the security of Europe,” she said. . When asked if the sanctions could include shutting down the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will transport gas to Europe, she said that in general energy should never be used to exert pressure and that the energy security for Europe and its neighbors should be guaranteed.

Scholz declined to answer the question about the Russian-German gas pipeline, saying that while it was clear that the EU and others would react if Ukraine invaded, talks to prevent such an outcome were also important. Earlier today during a visit to France https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/macron-welcomes-scholz-france-germany-seek-common-ground-after-merkel-2021-12- 10, Scholz called for a relaunch of “Norman format” talks between Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine to resolve the crisis.

“We are deeply concerned about the troops we see along the Ukrainian border, and that is why it is important that Europe is firm in this area and clearly shows that Europe’s borders are inviolable,” said Scholz said at a press conference later with Charles Michel, President of the European Council of the EU. French President Emmanuel Macron warned during his meeting with Scholz of the risk of self-fulfilling prophecies following a US intelligence assessment that a multi-front Russian offensive against Ukraine could take place as early as l ‘next year.

(Written by John Chalmers Editing by Alistair Bell)

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Richard L. Militello