European and other global leaders widely condemned Monday’s decisions by Russian President Vladimir Putin that have escalated the crisis in Ukraine — and China urged that “all parties concerned must exercise restraint.”
“This is plainly in breach of international law,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said of Putin’s move recognizing the independence of two pro-Moscow separatist regions in Ukraine – the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic.
“It is a flagrant violation of the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine,” Johnson said.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who called for a Monday night emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, echoed Johnson’s sentiments.
“By recognizing the separatist regions of eastern Ukraine, Russia is violating its commitments and undermining Ukraine’s sovereignty. I condemn this decision,” he said on Twitter.
Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, also called the recognition of the two separatists territories “a blatant violation of international law.”
“The EU and its partners will react with unity, firmness and with determination in solidarity with Ukraine,” she said in a tweet.
A host of other countries, including Germany, Norway and Lithuania also denounced Putin’s decision that preceded him ordering troops into the two breakaway regions to supposedly perform “peacekeeping functions.”
During Monday night’s UN Security Council meeting, China Ambassador to UN Zhang Jun said “all parties concerned must exercise restraint and avoid any action that may fuel tensions. We welcome and encourage every effort for a diplomatic solution.”
Following the day of potentially invasion-igniting developments, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky sought to ease fears in an address to his nation.
“We are not afraid of anyone or anything. We don’t owe anyone anything. And we won’t give anything to anyone,” he said.
With Post wires