“I know some people are calling for an end to the fighting, but I have to say that the reality is this: if Russia stops fighting, the war is over, if Ukraine stops fighting, there will be no more Ukraine,” said the EU chief executive. She was speaking at Princeton University in the United States after attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
“There is a lot at stake, not only for Ukraine but also for Europe, for the international community and for the world order,” continued Ms. von der Leyen.
The German added that the recent successes of the Ukrainian army in reclaiming territory from the Russian armed forces “boost morale”, but that consolidation is needed.
Speaking of the sanctions imposed on Russia by the EU and the US, she pointed out that these were “biting” and here to stay.
During a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, for her part, asked Mr Putin to end the war. “It’s a war you’re not going to win,” she said against him without naming him. “Stop sending more of your citizens to their deaths,” she urged. She noted that the announcement of the mobilization had not generated lines of volunteers to join the conflict. “What we are seeing instead are brave men, women and children taking to the streets because they don’t want to be part of this war against Ukraine.”
The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, on Wednesday promised new sanctions to strike Russia after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of reservists to support his military offensive in neighboring Ukraine.
Hungarian nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who regularly blames European Union (EU) sanctions against Russia, wants to have them lifted by December, and a “national consultation” will be launched on the subject.