Germany says Russia will pay price if it moves on Ukraine

Greens co-Chief Annalena Baerbock looks on as she gives a statement following last night's meeting with the leadership of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in Berlin, Germany, September 29, 2021. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi/Pool

Germany’s foreign minister said on Monday she hoped tensions with Russia over Ukraine could be solved by diplomacy, but she warned that Moscow would suffer if it does attack its neighbor.

BERLIN, GERMANY | REUTERS.- Minister Annalena Baerbock was speaking in Kyiv on a tour that next takes her to Moscow after talks between Russia and Western states on the Kremlin’s deployment of tens of thousands of troops along Ukraine’s border ended with no breakthrough last week.

The United States said last week it feared Russia was preparing a pretext to invade Ukraine, which Moscow denies. A cyber attack against Ukraine has heightened alarm. read more

“Each further aggressive act will have a high price for Russia, economically, strategically, politically,” Baerbock told a joint news conference with her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba. “Diplomacy is the only way.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, visiting Madrid, said everything must be done to avoid military intervention in Ukraine.

As they spoke, Russian military forces and hardware were arriving in Belarus after Minsk announced the neighbours would stage joint manoeuvres next month, state news agency Belta reported.

The “Allied Resolve” exercises will be held near Belarus’s western rim, the borders of NATO military alliance members Poland and Lithuania, and its southern flank with Ukraine, Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko said.

Ukraine’s Kuleba said Kyiv and Berlin were united in pushing to revive four-way peace talks on ending the war in eastern Ukraine in the so-called “Normandy” format, which includes Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia.

Excluded from much of last week’s talks, Ukraine has sought and received reassurances from allies that no decisions would be taken about its future without its involvement and assent.

“It is important for us now that neither Berlin nor Paris makes any decisions about Ukraine without Ukraine, and does not play any game behind our backs in relations with Russia. This is the key now,” Kuleba said at the briefing.


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