France and Germany warn Russia of 'consequences' if Ukraine is attacked

Li Wei
2021-12-09 15:44:34
A serviceman of the Ukrainian Armed Forces takes part in military drills at a training ground near the border with Crimea. /Press Service of General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine/Handout via Reuters

Russia will face "strategic and massive consequences" if it decides to attack Ukraine, warned the French foreign ministry on Wednesday.

"Strong messages were sent to Russia that a new attack on the territorial integrity of Ukraine would have strategic and massive consequences," the ministry said in a statement.

Germany's newly appointed chancellor, Olaf Scholz joined France in warning Moscow of potential "consequences" if Ukraine is threatened, saying the Nord Stream 2 could be used as leverage from his government.

In an interview with Die Welt TV, Scholz said his government will stand for "the inviolability of the borders to be respected."

The strong stance from France and Germany comes a day after U.S. president Joe Biden warned Russia's president Vladimir Putin that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would have heavy economic consequences for Moscow and force NATO troops to relocate at the Ukrainian border.

In a two-hour tense virtual summit, Biden and Putin discussed the current tensions in the Black Sea, caused by a massive build-up of 100,000 Russian troops.

U.S. President Joe Biden holds virtual talks with Russia's President Vladimir Putin amid Western fears that Moscow plans to attack Ukraine, during a secure video call from the Situation Room at the White House in Washington. /The White House/Handout via Reuters

Putin described the talks as constructive and said "Russia has a peaceful foreign policy, but has the right to defend its security," at a news conference with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday.

Putin went on to accuse NATO of threatening Russia's borders, and asked for guarantees that would prevent NATO from expanding its presence in countries like Ukraine.

On the other hand, Biden warned that Russia might not be able to conclude the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline linking the country to northern Europe, if Moscow decided to invade Ukraine, and that Putin will face sanctions "like none he's ever seen."

"We would probably be required to reinforce our presence in NATO countries to reassure particularly those in the eastern flank. In addition to that, I made it clear that we would provide a defensive capability to the Ukrainians as well," he said.

Meanwhile, The Russian Foreign Ministry released video footage of French military aircraft flying over the Black Sea and said it had deployed its own jets to intercept and "escort" the planes, according to a statement.

After telephone talks between Biden and his counterparts in France, Germany, Italy and the UK, there seems to be common ground among Western powers that a Russian offense on Ukraine wouldn't go unpunished.


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