NEW DELHI: The European Union (EU) considers “Russian aggression” as a direct threat to its security, European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen said here on Monday as she asked the international community to unite against Moscow.
“The core principles that underpin the peace and security across the world are at stake – in Asia as well as in Europe. Images coming from Russia’s attack on Ukraine have shocked the whole world… In Europe, we see Russia’s aggression as a direct threat to our security,” she said at the annual Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi.
New Delhi also maintained an impartial stand vis-a-vas Russia-Ukraine conflict, refusing to condemn its historical ally while calling for a return to the path of dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the conflict between Moscow and Kyiv.
India is one of the top buyers of Russian arms. While defence forms a key aspect of Indo-Russian relationship, Moscow is also developing into a key partner in the energy sector. Despite Western countries’ displeasure, India recently purchased discounted oil from Russia.
The European Commission president vowed to ensure that the war on Ukraine turns out to be a “strategic failure” and asserted that the “massive, sharp, and effective” sanctions imposed on Russia would give the West the leverage to “achieve a diplomatic solution”.
Reiterating that the western countries are doing whatever they can to help Ukraine, she said, “We will make sure that unprovoked and unjustified aggression against Ukraine will be a strategic failure. This is why we have imposed massive, sharp, and effective sanctions.”
“Sanctions are not standalone solutions, they are embedded in a broader strategy that has diplomatic and security elements. This is why we have designed the sanctions in a way to sustain them over a longer period of time because this gives us leverage to achieve a diplomatic solution that will give lasting peace,” she added.
With top Indian ministers and a host of foreign dignitaries listening, Leyen urged the international community to support “our efforts for lasting peace”.
Calling the Russia-Ukraine war a “defining moment”, the EC chief said that the outcome would decide the future of the “international system and the global economy”.
“Our decisions these days will shape decades to come. Our response to Russia’s aggression today will decide the future of both the international system and the global economy,” she stated.
“What happens in Ukraine will have an impact on the Indo-Pacific region,” she said.
Von der Leyen argued that the Russia-Ukraine war has already started affecting the prices of commodities and energy across the world, dealing a severe blow to the COVID-19 pandemic-hit global economy.
“Countries battered by two years of COVID pandemic must deal now with rising prices of grain, energy, and fertilizers as a direct result of Putin’s war of choice. The outcome of the war will not only determine the future of Europe but also deeply affect the Indo-Pacific region and the rest of the world,” she added.