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The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, has urged the international community to “take seriously” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threats and warned that the war in Ukraine has entered a “dangerous” phase.
Borrell has echoed Putin’s words earlier in the week when he announced that Moscow had “several weapons of destruction” and that he was not lying when he claimed that Russia would “use all means at its disposal.”
“When people say it’s not a bluff you have to take it seriously,” the top European diplomat said in an interview for the British BBC in which he warned that Russia’s latest moves have caused the war to enter a “dangerous” stage.
Along with the warnings about the possible use of nuclear weapons, Putin announced at the beginning of the week a “partial mobilization” of the population, while the Russian Ministry of Defense pointed to the deployment of 300,000 reservists in Ukraine.
In this context, Borrell considers that the Russian leader has faced in recent weeks several defeats on the battlefield, although he has recognized that Putin’s reaction to these setbacks “has been very bad”, as it has only escalated tensions.
So, although he agrees with the expert analysis that Russia is now on the defensive, he considers that it is urgent to reach a “diplomatic solution (…) that preserves the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine”, with a view not to obtain a short-term peace, but a lasting one.
On a more personal level, the head of European diplomacy has acknowledged that the war in Ukraine today dominates all spheres, including his personal one, since, he says, from relatives to international politicians ask him when the conflict will end.
However, and although it is difficult to find an adequate answer, Borrell considers that the course to follow is to give continuity to the rounds of sanctions against the Russian economy and to guarantee support to Ukraine for the defense of its territory and sovereignty.
Finally, Borrell has acknowledged that all the leaders who have talked to Putin about the war have obtained as a response that Russia has “military objectives” and that, until it does not achieve them, “the war will continue.” “This is a really worrying direction, but we have to continue to support Ukraine,” he concluded.