NEW DELHI (AP) — Russia’s aggression in Ukraine is a direct threat to Europe’s security, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Monday during a visit to India.
“Targeting and killing innocent civilians. Redraw the borders by force. Subdue the will of a free people. This goes against the fundamental principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. In Europe, we view Russia’s aggression as a direct threat to our security,” von der Leyen said in a speech at the Raisina Dialogue, a geopolitical conference in New Delhi.
She said that “Moscow’s unprovoked and unjustified aggression against Ukraine” must be a “strategic failure” and that the European Union “is doing everything in its power to help Ukraine fight for its freedom”.
“That’s why we had to impose massive, tough and effective sanctions,” von der Leyen said.
She said the sanctions, however, were not “stand-alone solutions” but part of a broader strategy that gives the European Union leverage to “achieve a diplomatic solution that will bring lasting peace”.
Von der Leyen arrived in India on Monday for a two-day visit. She met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed trade, climate and digital technology, Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said.
His visit to India is seen as part of Western efforts to encourage New Delhi to reduce ties with Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.
Modi called the situation in Ukraine “very worrying” and called on both sides for peace. But India has so far refrained from condemning the Russian invasion. He also abstained when the UN General Assembly voted this month to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council.
India has also resisted Western pressure to avoid buying oil from Russia.
India receives relatively little of its oil from Russia, but has recently increased its purchases due to reduced prices. India is also a major buyer of Russian arms and has recently purchased advanced Russian air defense systems.
India was a Cold War ally of Moscow but has since sought to maintain ties with Russia and Western countries.
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