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Germany warns Russia of 'high cost' of Ukraine aggression

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
Germany warns Russia of 'high cost' of Ukraine aggression
German Foreign Secretary Annalena Baerbock and US Foreign Secretary Anthony Blinken speak at a press conference in Berlin on Thursday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Pool | Kay Nietfeld

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Friday that Russia would pay a "considerable and serious price" if it invades Ukraine.

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In a phone call on Thursday evening, the two leaders agreed that "further military aggression by Russia against Ukraine must be averted", the German chancellery said in a statement.

Downing Street said Scholz and Johnson had "shared their deep concern at the ongoing destabilising action by Russia in Ukraine, and said any invasion into Ukraine would be a severe strategic mistake".

"The prime minister stressed the importance of NATO allies working together on a coordinated response," it said in a statement.

Fears are mounting that a major conflict could break out in Europe as tens of thousands of Russian troops mass on Ukraine's border, along with an arsenal of tanks, fighting vehicles, artillery and missiles.

In a bid to defuse the worst tensions between Russia and the West in decades, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is on a whirlwind diplomatic tour that took him to Berlin on Thursday before a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Friday.

Speaking to journalists in Berlin, Blinken warned that Russia risked reviving Europe's dangerous Cold War era of division as it threatens Ukraine.

"To allow Russia to violate those principles with impunity would drag us all back to a much more dangerous and unstable time, when this continent, and this city, were divided in two... with the threat of all-out war hanging over everyone's heads," he said.

The United States and its allies have warned Moscow of grave consequences if "any" of the troops massed on the border were to cross the border into Ukraine.

READ ALSO: Germany’s Scholz supports Ukraine amid Russian invasion fears

'Grave consequences'

Appearing alongside Blinken, German Foreign Secretary Annalena Baerbock urged Russia to "take steps towards deescalation". 

"Any further aggressive stance, any further aggression, would have grave consequences," she said. "Nothing less is at stake than the preservation of the European peace order."

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Baerbock added that the Western allies would not shy away from taking action, even if that included measures that "could have economic consequences for ourselves".

The recently completed -- but not yet certified -- Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is due to double Russian gas supplies to Germany, has long been seen as a possible bargaining chip in the crisis.

READ ALSO: German regulator suspends Nord Stream 2 approval process

Although Germany has previously insisted the pipeline was merely a commercial project and should not be halted for political reasons, Chancellor Olaf Scholz recently said "everything" was on the table.

Moscow insists it has no plans to invade Ukraine but has at the same time laid down a series of security demands -- including a ban on Ukraine joining NATO -- in exchange for de-escalation.

In London, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said any Russian incursion into Ukraine "would be a disaster for the world".

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Comments (2)

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Anonymous 2022/01/21 17:35
Germany should remember that its own re-unification only happened because certain other countries stood firm against the Soviets. Those same countries now expect Germany to show a bit of backbone and cut out the double-talk, no-fly zones for Brit military and demonstrate they're a proper ally.
Anonymous 2022/01/21 12:14
Olaf Sholz won't do anything apart from complain to Russia. We can't complain too much though, we can't have Russia turn off the taps. They've got us by the short and curleys. This is what green policies do. This will bite us in the arse hard. Fun times 2022.
  • Anonymous 2022/01/22 01:05
    Reliance on gas energy is not a "green policy". It is, on the contrary, a consequence of not enough green policies. This is one area where taking action to mitigate the climate emergency and foreign policy are entirely in sync. Green energy = independent energy.

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