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World leaders move to slap sanctions on the Kremlin – Press Telegram

By RAF CASERT and SAM PETREQUIN

BRUSSELS (AP) – World leaders on Thursday condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as “barbaric” and went on to impose unprecedented economic sanctions on Moscow and those close to President Vladimir Putin.

The West and its allies have shown no inclination to send troops to Ukraine, a non-NATO member, and risk a wider European war. But NATO has also strengthened its member states in Eastern Europe as a precaution against an attack on them.

“Let’s not be fooled: we will defend all allies against any attack every inch of NATO territory,” said NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg.

All over the world, the outbreak of fighting has brought stocks down and oil prices have risen for fear of rising food and fuel costs.

Countries from Japan, South Korea and Australia to Western Europe and the USA. UU. They lined up to condemn the attack and began taking steps to isolate Moscow in hopes of forcing it to pay such a high price that it would change course.

As the first major world leader to make a big move, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a freeze on the assets of all major Russian banks and plans to prevent Russian companies and the Kremlin from raising money in British markets.

Britain will also ban the export to Russia of a wide range of high-tech products, including semiconductors, and will ban the country’s flagship airline, Aeroflot, from landing at British airports.

Johnson called the attack “horrible and barbaric” and said of Putin, “Now we see it as it is: a blood-stained aggressor who believes in imperial conquest.”

Canada has imposed sanctions on 58 individuals and entities, including members of the Russian elite and their families, the Wagner paramilitary group, and major Russian banks. The punitive measures, announced after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended a virtual meeting of the industrialized nations of the G-7, will also affect members of the Russian Security Council, including the top cabinet ministers.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Stoltenberg also called the invasion a “barbaric” attack on an independent nation that threatened “stability in Europe and the entire international peace order.” The European Union has scheduled an emergency summit in Brussels to consider sanctions.

Von der Leyen said he would propose “massive and targeted sanctions” that would block the country’s access to key financial technologies and markets and freeze Russian assets in Europe.

“We want to cut Russia’s industry from the technologies desperately needed today to build the future,” von der Leyen said.

In the days leading up to the attack, Germany suspended approval of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and the EU imposed sanctions on hundreds of Russian lawmakers and other officials and institutions in the world of defense and banking.

In a similar attempt to defend himself against an invasion, US President Joe Biden has in recent days announced sanctions against Russian banks and oligarchs and warned of even harsher sanctions in the event of an attack.

Biden convened a morning meeting of his National Security Council on Thursday to address the crisis.

Separately, the UN is scheduled to vote on a resolution on Friday condemning Russia and demanding the immediate withdrawal of all its forces. But Moscow will surely veto the measure.

Von der Leyen insisted that all Western powers were on the brink of crisis. Even Hungary, an often recalcitrant member of the EU, soon condemned the attack, raising hopes that the 27 states would quickly reach the unanimity needed for the sanctions package.

Highlighting a widening gap in superpower relations, China was left alone in not condemning the attack, but instead accused the United States and its allies of worsening the crisis.

In a clear Moscow defense, China “called on the parties to respect the legitimate security concerns of others.”

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that “all parties should work for peace instead of increasing tension or increasing the possibility of war,” a language China has constantly used to criticize the West in the crisis.

China has gone further and approved wheat imports from Russia, a move that could reduce the impact of Western sanctions. Russia, one of the largest producers of wheat, would be vulnerable if foreign markets were closed.

Oil prices rose more than $ 5 a barrel. Brent crude has jumped briefly above $ 100 a barrel in London for the first time since 2014 amid fears of a disruption to supplies from Russia, the third largest producer.

The possible repercussions have extended far beyond economics and geopolitics. The director of the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was concerned that the crisis would further distract global attention from helping the world’s least vaccinated continent fight COVID-19.

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Associated Press reporters from around the world contributed to this report.

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Follow AP coverage of the Ukraine crisis at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

World leaders move to slap sanctions on the Kremlin – Press Telegram Source link World leaders move to slap sanctions on the Kremlin – Press Telegram

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