The EU’s response to Russia must be bold and unanimous | Norbert Röttgen

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All measures short of war should be taken into account when trying to solve the crisis in Ukraine

It was always just a matter of time before the smouldering conflict between Russia and Ukraine in the Sea of Azov, a body of water to the north-east of Crimea, escalated militarily. After it opened a bridge across the Kerch strait in May 2018, Russia has gradually brought the entire area under its control, causing severe economic damage to the Ukrainian trading ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk. A volatile situation morphed into an unprecedented, open act of aggression when on 25 November the Russian navy rammed a Ukrainian tugboat, seized three vessels and their crews and temporarily blocked passage through the strait.

Two months earlier I’d made the point that, with rising tensions in the Sea of Azov, we might soon witness a “second Crimea” – another territorial grab. That has now come true. Russia has in effect seized the Sea of Azov through military means. This must be seen as just the latest in a long chain of Russian military interventions outside its own territory.

Related: Kerch strait confrontation: what happened and why does it matter?

The EU needs to maintain dialogue with its large eastern neighbour, for otherwise there will be no peace in Ukraine

Related: Putin is profiting from chaos in Ukraine – and the west is letting him | Natalia Antonova

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Source: russia
Link : The EU’s response to Russia must be bold and unanimous | Norbert Röttgen


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