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EU executive says Putin’s ‘reckless’ nuclear gamble must stop

A foreign policy spokesman for the European Commission, Peter Stano accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of a “very dangerous nuclear gamble” on Wednesday and said the international community had to put pressure on him to “stop such reckless behaviour.”

Mr Stano also told a news conference, the “sham, illegal referenda” Moscow backed in Ukrainian regions it occupies would not be recognised.

“Putin is doing a nuclear gamble. He’s using the nuclear element as part of his arsenal of terror, it’s unacceptable,” Mr Stano said.

Moscow’s moves will have ‘consequences’
European Union member states have been discussing joint action in response to the latest developments in Russia’s war in Ukraine, the bloc’s executive said, warning Moscow that there would be “consequences on our part”.

“The EU member states have already held a coordination meeting where discussions have been held in terms of an EU response to the continuation of the war of aggression against Ukraine,” European Commission spokesman Peter Stano said.

“This includes all aspects of the aggression, the crimes that have been committed, the referenda, the discoveries of mass burial sites,” he told a news briefing.

Mr Stano said there were no announcements to be made at this stage on further sanctions against Russia, as discussions on the sixth round of measures by the bloc were confidential.

Putin ‘in desperation’
Mr Stano went on to say that Vladimir Putin’s decision on partial mobilisation to fight in Ukraine proved the Russian president was acting “in desperation” and only seeking to escalate the crisis.

Mr Putin on Wednesday ordered Russia’s first mobilisation since World War II and backed a plan to annex swathes of Ukraine, issuing a nuclear threat to the West.

“This is just another proof that Putin is not interested in peace, that he’s interested in escalating this war of aggression,” Peter Stano told a news conference.

“This is also yet another sign of his desperation with how his aggression is going against Ukraine…he is only interested in further advancing and continuing his destructive war, which has already had so many bad consequences worldwide,” he said.

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