West rails against Russian moves in Ukraine, calls for sanctions

4 minute read
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Feb 22 (Reuters) - Western nations criticised Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to order the deployment of troops to two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine after recognising them as independent on Monday. read more

For a selection of quotes from Putin's speech, click read more

Here are quotes from world leaders in reaction to Russia's actions.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKIY:

"We are committed to the peaceful and diplomatic path, we will follow it and only it. But we are on our own land, we are not afraid of anything and anybody, we owe nothing to no one, and we will give nothing to no one.

"We expect clear and effective steps of support from our partners.

"It is very important to see who is our real friend and partner, and who will continue to scare the Russian Federation with words."

BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER LIZ TRUSS:

"President Putin's recognition of the "Donetsk People's Republic" and "Luhansk People's Republic" as independent states shows flagrant disregard for Russia's commitments under the Minsk agreements. This step ... signals an end to the Minsk process.

"It demonstrates Russia's decision to choose a path of confrontation over dialogue. We will coordinate our response with allies. We will not allow Russia's violation of its international commitments to go unpunished."

WHITE HOUSE SPOKESPERSON JEN PSAKI:

"We have anticipated a move like this from Russia and are ready to respond immediately.

"President Biden will soon issue an executive order that will prohibit new investment, trade, and financing by U.S. persons to, from, or in the so-called DNR and LNR regions of Ukraine."

NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL JENS STOLTENBERG:

"Moscow continues to fuel the conflict in eastern Ukraine by providing financial and military support to the separatists. It is also trying to stage a pretext to invade Ukraine once again.

"This undermines Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, erodes efforts towards a resolution of the conflict, and violates the Minsk Agreements, to which Russia is a party."

JAPANESE CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY HIROKAZU MATSUNO:

"These actions violate Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, violate international law and are utterly unacceptable."

CANADIAN FOREIGN MINISTER MELANIE JOLY:

"Canada, with its partners and allies, will react firmly to this blatant disregard for international law.

"We are preparing to impose economic sanctions for these actions, separate from those prepared to respond to any further military invasion of Ukraine by Russia."

SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT MOON JAE-IN:

"The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine must be respected. We must actively seek a peaceful solution through dialogue.

"It is never desirable for the Ukraine crisis to deteriorate into an armed conflict, which runs counter to the expectations of the international community.

"It would have a huge political and economic impact, not only in Europe, but also around the world."

AUSTRALIAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER MARISE PAYNE:

"The Australian government condemns President Putin’s declaration today that the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine are independent states.

"This flagrantly undermines Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and has no validity under international law.

"We also condemn President Putin’s announcement that Russia is deploying so-called 'peacekeepers' to eastern Ukraine. These personnel are not peacekeepers.

"The Australian government is coordinating closely with the United States, United Kingdom, European Union and other governments around the world to ensure there are severe costs for Russia’s aggression.

"Along with our partners, we are prepared to announce swift and severe sanctions that would target key Russian individuals and entities responsible for undermining Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity."

CHINA'S U.N. AMBASSADOR ZHANG JUN:

"All parties concerned must exercise restraint, and avoid any action that may fuel tensions."

KENYA'S U.N. AMBASSADOR MARTIN KIMANI:

"Multilateralism lies on its deathbed tonight."

TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY:

"The decision of Russia to recognise the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics amounts to a clear violation of not only the Minsk agreements, but also Ukraine's political unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"We find Russia's so-called decision to be unacceptable and reject it."

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Complied by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.