NATO has ordered its military commanders to intensify preparations to defend Allied territory.
NATO on Thursday ordered its military commanders to intensify preparations to defend allied territory. Russia launches military operation against Ukrainealerted hundreds of warplanes and ships and agreed to increase the number of troops on the eastern flank.
“Peace has been shattered on our continent,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference. “Russia is using force to try to rewrite history and deny Ukraine its free and independent path.”
As the conflict intensifies, world leaders say:
United States of America
“President Vladimir Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” said US President Joe Biden.
“I will meet with the leaders of the G7 and the United States and our allies and partners will impose heavy sanctions on Russia.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has described Putin as a “dictator” now facing “big” Western sanctions.
“We can’t turn our heads and we won’t look,” Johnson said in a televised address to the nation, after calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky just after Russian forces mobilized.
The Prime Minister said Ukraine can be assured of continued support from Britain, given that “our worst fears have come true and all our warnings are tragically correct”.
Ahead of an emergency virtual meeting of the G7 leaders, Johnson said the West would “accept a large package of economic sanctions designed in time to disrupt the Russian economy.”
This heinous and barbaric attempt by Vladimir Putin must fail diplomatically, politically, economically and ultimately militarily.”
French President Emmanuel Macron, who worked until the last minute for a diplomatic solution, said that France “strongly condemned Russia’s decision to declare war” and promised support to Ukraine.
According to a statement from the French presidency, Russia should end its military operations as soon as possible and spoke by phone with Zelenskyy, who demanded “united European support” for Ukraine.
Macron said France is working with its partners and allies to end the war.
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said Russia had “chosen the reprehensible and completely illegal route of mass armed violence against an independent and sovereign state”.
Iohannis said Romania, a country of approximately 19.5 million people, is ready to deal with the economic and human consequences that the conflict may have. Romania borders Ukraine and is a member of NATO and the European Union.
He stressed that Romania would not be drawn into the military conflict in Ukraine, and said Romanian authorities would take “absolutely all necessary measures” to ensure the safety of the country’s citizens.
Czech President Milos Zeman, one of the leading pro-Russian voices among European Union leaders, condemned Russia’s statement as “an act of unjustified aggression”.
“Russia has committed crimes against peace,” Zeman said in his speech to the nation.
“An unreasonable decision of the leadership of the Russian Federation will cause serious harm to the Russian state.”
He called for tougher sanctions against Russia and declared that “it is necessary to isolate a lunatic and defend ourselves not only with words but also with actions.”
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi demanded Russia’s “unconditional withdrawal” from Ukraine, saying that the occupation of the pro-Western nation “concerns us all, our lives as free people, our democracy”.
In a televised speech, he said Italy was “fully aligned” with its partners and would decide on “a very tough package of sanctions against Russia”.
“We have made it clear at every forum that we are ready for serious consequences if Russia rejects our attempts to resolve the crisis through political means. Now is the time to implement them,” he said.
“It will do whatever it takes to preserve the sovereignty of Ukraine, the security of Europe and the integrity of the international order based on the rules and values we all share,” said Rome.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a “heavy blow” to regional peace.
In his speech on television, Erdogan said, “We reject Russia’s military operation,” and said “it is a heavy blow to regional peace and stability.”
He expressed his “sincere regret” for the confrontation between two countries with which we have political, economic and social ties.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Putin was “directly bringing suffering and destruction to his neighbors, violating Ukraine’s sovereignty and borders”.
“It is endangering the lives of countless innocent people (and) … the peace order on our continent. There is no justification for all this. “This is Putin’s war,” he said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned Russia’s “horrible” and “unprovoked” attack on Ukraine, urging Moscow to withdraw from the country immediately and said its aggression “will not go unpunished”.
“Canada condemns in the strongest possible terms of Russia’s horrific attack on Ukraine,” Trudeau said hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of military operations.
The Canadian leader called “non-provocative actions” a blatant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and called on Russia to “immediately cease all hostile and provocative actions against Ukraine and withdraw all military and proxy forces from the country.”
Trudeau warned of the “grave consequences” for Moscow and pledged, together with his allies, to “collectively respond to these reckless and dangerous acts”.
“Russia’s insolent actions will not go unpunished,” he said.