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Iran Press TV

EU leaders accuse Russia of seeking to 'invade' Ukraine, threaten sanctions

Iran Press TV

Friday, 17 December 2021 12:38 AM

European Union leaders have accused Russia of planning to "invade" Ukraine, threatening Moscow with further sanctions if this was to happen.

Meeting in Brussels for a summit, the leaders claimed on Thursday that Moscow could be planning a "military aggression" against Ukraine, saying such alleged event would be followed by "massive consequences and severe cost in response." They also vowed that they would make sure that the United States and the UK would impose concomitant economic measures on Moscow too.

Trying to justify their threats, the leaders cited, what they called, a Russian "military buildup" on Ukraine's borders.

Moscow says it has a right to move its troops around its own territory as it sees fit.

The Western allies imposed economic sanctions on Russia in 2014 after the Ukrainian territory of Crimea voted in a referendum to fall under Russian sovereignty. The US and the EU-backed Kiev refused to recognize the referendum's results.

Ukraine, the EU, and the US also claim that Russia has a hand in an ongoing conflict that erupted in the Donbass region of Ukraine between government forces and ethnic Russians in the same year.

The West imposed more sanctions on Russia after accusing it of interfering in the conflict. Moscow denies the allegation.

No sanctions were debated at the Wednesday summit, but diplomats said new measures could include targeting Russian oligarchs, banning EU transactions with private Russian banks, and possibly cutting all Russian banks from the SWIFT network that is the lifeblood of international money transfers, Reuters reported.

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