EU loops in India on Ukraine concerns, talks of ‘massive consequences’: Official

Updated on Feb 16, 2022 10:03 PM IST

The EU is in constant dialogue with “friend and partner” India to keep New Delhi apprised of its assessments and concerns regarding the situation in Ukraine following a large build-up of Russian troops, an EDU official said.

As Western officials warned a Russian invasion could happen as early as today, the Ukrainian President Zelenskyy called for a Day of Unity, with Ukrainians encouraged to raise Ukrainian flags across the country. (AP)
As Western officials warned a Russian invasion could happen as early as today, the Ukrainian President Zelenskyy called for a Day of Unity, with Ukrainians encouraged to raise Ukrainian flags across the country. (AP)

NEW DELHI: The European Union (EU) has informed India of its concerns over the situation in Ukraine and its plans to impose “massive consequences” in the event of any Russian aggression against the eastern European country.

The EU is in constant dialogue with India, which it views as a “friend and partner”, to keep New Delhi apprised of its assessments and concerns regarding the situation in Ukraine following a large build-up of Russian troops, an EU official told a group of Indian reporters on Wednesday.

The EU, in conjunction with NATO and its allies such as the US, has prepared “tariff measures and a robust reaction in case of any further aggression against Ukraine”.

The official added: “There will be massive consequences. The EU stands by Ukarine, but at the same time, we do our utmost to explore all avenues for dialogue and a diplomatic solution.”

Also Read: Joe Biden says Russian attack on Ukraine still ‘very much a possibility’

The EU official evaded questions on the 27-member bloc’s expectations from India regarding the situation in Ukraine and said the grouping has presented to the Indian side its “view of the situation, our perspective and our assessment”.

“We have been particularly insisting on the fact that the principles and covenants underpinning European security must be respected...A rules-based system of international governance is of interest to all, be it in Europe or the rest of the world,” the official added.

Residents carry Ukrainian national flag as they gather in the Olympic Stadium in Ukraine’s Kyiv to mark the Unity Day, the day Western intelligence agencies allegedly said they’d be invaded by Russia (Reuters)
Residents carry Ukrainian national flag as they gather in the Olympic Stadium in Ukraine’s Kyiv to mark the Unity Day, the day Western intelligence agencies allegedly said they’d be invaded by Russia (Reuters)

India has not spoken out against Russia’s actions along the border with Ukraine in view of the close strategic ties between New Delhi and Moscow. It has opposed all steps that increase tension in Ukraine and called for quiet diplomacy to ensure immediate de-escalation while ensuring the “legitimate security interests of all countries”.

Also Read: India in talks with airlines to help citizens fly out of Ukraine

With external affairs minister S Jaishankar set to travel to Europe this week to participate in the Munich Security Conference and a ministerial forum on the Indo-Pacific convened by France, India could face pressure from its EU partners to change its position if there is any aggressive action by Russia against Ukraine.

Jaishankar will participate in the security conference, one of the world’s largest meetings on international security policy, during February 18-20. He is also expected to hold bilateral talks with Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign affairs and security policy chief. Russia is not attending this year’s event, which is likely to be dominated by the situation in Ukraine. Jaishankar will then travel to France for the inaugural Indo-Pacific forum on February 22.

The EU official cited above further said, “What we wish to convey is that all of our efforts are directed towards dialogue but we stand firm on our principles that cannot be negotiated because they define the very essence of Europe’s security architecture.”

The official added, “Attempts to unilaterally redefine the security architecture in Europe are not acceptable as it would undermine the core principles on which European security is built, be it the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 or the Paris Charter of 1990.”

There is a “massive concentration of troops and weapons” and “there is clearly a threat vis-a-vis Ukraine”. Over the past seven years, Ukraine has suffered other acts of aggression such as the “illegal annexation of Crimea and the situation in the Donbas”, the EU official pointed out.

Referring to reports that some Russian troops involved in massive exercises close to the Ukrainian border were returning to their bases, the official said the EU hopes Russia will de-escalate, pursue the path of dialogue and address its concerns through mechanisms established under the Helsinki Final Act and Paris Charter.

“We have seen some signs of hope in the past two days [but] the situation on the ground is still unclear... We hope the signals we have seen in the past couple of days will be confirmed. We shall see if these signs are translated into concrete developments on the ground,” the official added.

Get Latest India Newsalong with Latest Newsand Top Headlinesfrom India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, February 09, 2023
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals