European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to not recognize the separatist republics of Donbas.
“We call upon President Putin to respect international law and the Minsk agreements and expect him not to recognize the independence of the Luhansk and Donetsk Oblast. And we are ready to react with a strong united front in case he should decide to do so,” said Borrell at a press conference on Monday following a meeting of EU’s foreign ministers in Brussels.
Putin informed French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz by phone that he intends to sign a decree “soon” to recognize two breakaway pro-Russian territories — which call themselves the Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics — the Kremlin said Monday.
“It will be soon, eight years since Russia invaded and illegally annexed Crimea. And they want to repeat when again that any further aggression against Ukraine will have a strong answer from the European Union,” Borrell said.
The EU’s top diplomat also said that Russia had created “the biggest threat to peace and stability in Europe since the Second World War.”
“The staged events and information manipulation are clearly aimed at creating a pretext for military escalations against Ukraine. It’s a classical way of behaving. You create a pretext for military escalations,” Borrell continued.
The EU foreign policy chief said that a strong response from the European Union would also apply to Belarus “should an attack be conducted from its territory or with its involvement.”