Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday demanded an immediate stop to the Nord Steam 2 project, and Kyiv prepared to sever relations with Moscow in response to its recognition of two breakaway regions.
While addressing the media, Zelensky said, “The Kremlin was paving the way for a major military assault on Ukraine.”
The Ukrainian leader said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions on Monday has demanded a swift and punishing economic response from the West.
Meanwhile, on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised the independence of two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine in an emotional address broadcast on state-run television, despite warnings from the West that the move could lead to sweeping sanctions.
Before the reports of Putin signing mutual aid agreements with rebel leaders in the Kremlin, he said, “I believe it is necessary to take a long-overdue decision, to immediately recognise the independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic.”
Russia also asked several other nations to follow it in recognising east Ukraine’s separatist republics and ordered the Russian army to send the troops there as “peacekeepers.”
On Tuesday, Britain summoned Russia’s ambassador for talks, after the Kremlin ordered troops into the Moscow-backed rebel regions of Ukraine.
Meanwhile, PM Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said, “This morning, the foreign office has summoned the Russian ambassador after the Prime minister said London would “hit Russia very hard” with targeted sanctions.