EU warns Russia of massive consequences if it invades Ukraine

BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) – The EU is threatening Russia with retaliation in the event of an attack on Ukraine. At their summit in Brussels, the heads of state and government adopted a declaration to this effect on Thursday evening. It states that Russia urgently needs to defuse the tensions caused by the troop deployment on the border with Ukraine and aggressive rhetoric. Any further military aggression would have “massive consequences and high costs”. Sanctions coordinated with partners were cited as an example. The EU fully supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and the other heads of state and government left open which sanctions could be involved. According to diplomats, sanctions against state companies and oligarchs close to President Vladimir Putin are being discussed. In addition, an operating ban for the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany and the exclusion of Russia from the Swift payment system are options.

The latter in particular could have far-reaching consequences, since Swift processes messages and financial transactions for more than 11,000 financial institutions worldwide via secure networks. If banks are no longer able to use Swift, this can have fatal consequences for their businesses, as they are effectively excluded from the global financial system./aha/DP/men

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