Heavy sanctions in line if Russia invades Ukraine: EU warnstext_fields
Munich, Kyiv: The President of the European Union Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, warned on Saturday that if Russia invades Ukraine, it will be destroying future prosperity. She promised a "robust package" of financial and economic sanctions on Moscow if it proceeded with its invasion plans, Agence France-Presse reported.
She said that these sanctions would affect Russia's future. In view of the Russian amassment of troops along the Ukraine borders, she further accused Moscow of attempting to rewrite the rules of international order. She likened Moscow to Beijing, saying that Russia preferred the rule of the strongest to the rule of law.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian army reported the first death of a soldier in weeks near the Russian border on Saturday. The army accused pro-Russian separatists of the escalating attacks that happened on Friday. The soldier succumbed to a shrapnel wound while two of Ukraine's emergency service staff were also wounded in the attacks.
The Ukraine armed forces informed that separatists had used 82 and 120 millimetre-calibre mortar shells, which were banned in previous ceasefire deals. The rebels are firing artillery on populated areas and are keeping their equipment near residential homes. They intend to intimidate the Ukraine armed forces to retort firing so that they could blame the armed forces for shelling civilians, armed forces said. It added that it is trying its best to avoid harm to civilians.
However, the Russian administration continues to maintain that the current conflict in Ukraine is the country's internal matter and denies any involvement.
But the OSCE European security body had reported that Russian arms were regularly shipped to separatists breaching borders during the last eight years of conflict. It added that there was an increased kinetic activity recorded along the contact line in eastern Ukraine and also 870 incidents of violating the ceasefire.
The rebel leaders of Donetsk and the smaller Lugansk region of Ukraine alleged that the state armed forces are trying to recapture the two separatist regions by force.