'European security order is at stake' in NATO's Russia response, warns EU Parliament VP

22 February 2022, 16:06

By Tim Dodd

European Parliament Vice President Heidi Hautala has told LBC the "European security order is at stake" in NATO's response to Russia, after President Putin ordered troops into breakaway Ukrainian regions.

It comes as Boris Johnson has imposed fresh sanctions on five banks and three high-flying individuals in response to Russia's recognition and deployment of tanks to Donbas and Luhansk.

Ms Hautala told Shelagh Fogarty: "Russia has moved on in its script, and sending troops to these areas is most likely not to be the last step, so it could lead to a real proper warfare, so now is [the] time to stop that.

"And of course, by the side of diplomacy, sanctions have to be introduced. Perhaps step by step, but I still think that the ones that I've heard of by the UK are rather modest."

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Shelagh asked Ms Hautala what the EU's sanctions might look like.

"There's a lot of thinking now about stopping Russia's access to the EU's financial market, which would mean that Russia is not allowed to sell its sovereign debt in the EU financial market," she replied.

"It's not quite like excluding Russia from SWIFT, the payment system, yet, but is a step towards that direction.

"I think many are saying that now eyes have opened, but what I do think is that eyes could have opened a little bit earlier.

"The tendency in Putin's Russia has been very clear since 2008, we could say, when the war with Georgia was started, then Crimea 2014."

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She continued: "I would say that the chances of diplomatic, peaceful solution are much less after last night... but we should never give up trying that.

"European security order is at stake."

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