The world is at ‘a defining moment in history’ – Harris on Ukraine

Author: Yuvi February 20, 2022 Harris on Ukraine: the world at 'a defining moment in history'

Vice President Kamala Harris has warned Russia that it will face “unprecedented” economic penalties if it attacks Ukraine

Vice President Kamala Harris has warned Russia that it will face “unprecedented” economic penalties if it attacks Ukraine

United States Vice President Kamala Harris warned Russia on Saturday that it would face “unprecedented” financial penalties if it invades Ukraine and predicted such an attack would draw European ally closer to the United States. Will go The world is at “a defining moment in history”, he told Ukraine’s president, who said he only wanted peace for his country.

Ms Harris spoke at the annual Munich Security Conference, the day after which President Joe Biden said he was “convinced” that Russia’s Vladimir Putin had made the decision to invade neighboring Ukraine.

“Let me be clear, I can say with absolute certainty: If Russia invades Ukraine further, the United States, along with our allies and partners, will incur significant and unprecedented economic costs,” Harris said.

Ms Harris aimed to make the case to a largely European audience that the West has “strength through unity” and that an invasion could lead to an even greater NATO presence at Russia’s doorstep.

Later, at the beginning of a meeting with Ukraine’s leader, Ms Harris called it “a defining moment in history” and told Volodymyr Zelensky, “We take seriously any threat to your country.” They replied: “We clearly understand what is happening. This is our land. We want peace.”

He also said he needed Western allies to take “specific steps”, pointing to Ukraine’s requests for even more military and economic aid. Mr. Zelensky also noted that with Russian troops on his country’s borders, Ukraine’s military is actually “protecting the whole of Europe.”

Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014, and pro-Russian separatists have been fighting Ukrainian forces in the country’s east for nearly eight years. The United States and the European Union previously imposed sanctions on Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Western fears of aggression have risen in recent months as Russia has gathered more than 150,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders.

Ms Harris said the Biden administration, along with its allies, had tried to engage in good faith with Moscow to find a diplomatic solution, but that effort was not reciprocated by the Kremlin.

“Russia continues to say that it is ready to negotiate and at the same time reduce the avenues of diplomacy,” Ms Harris said. “His actions just don’t match his words.”

Ms Harris credited European allies for speaking with a largely unified voice as the latest Ukraine crisis unfolds. The vice president said Republicans and Democrats in Washington – who rarely agree on many key issues – generally agree on the need to confront Putin.

“We didn’t all start from the same place,” Harris said. “We came together and are now speaking with a unified voice. And that voice was not only dialogue and debate, some concessions, but also the practical realization of the moment in which we are seeing a sovereign nation, which is very good. Kind of on the verge of attack. Once again.”

Ms Harris met in Munich on Friday with the leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, who insisted a US increase in its military presence on NATO’s eastern edge is necessary.

The White House has not yet said whether it will meet those requests, but Ms Harris suggested in her address on Saturday that an invasion could strengthen the US presence.

“Implementing these comprehensive and coordinated measures will cause great harm to those who need to be held accountable. And we will not stop with economic measures,” Ms Harris said. “We will further strengthen our NATO allies in the eastern side.”

Mr. Biden and others in the US have consistently warned sternly that the window for diplomacy is narrow.

Mr Biden told reporters on Friday he believed Putin decided to launch an offensive in the coming days, taking military action that could go far beyond the disputed Donbass region in eastern Ukraine and It also includes the capital of Kiev.

The Vice President was scheduled to meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz later on Saturday.

Ms Harris said in her remarks that “not since the end of the Cold War” the Munich conference “has been convened under such dire circumstances.”

20 February, 2022, 9:28 pm

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