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Putin comments spark EU minister talks on new sanctions, weapons

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with the heads of the country’s main technical schools and their industrial partners in the city of Veliky Novgorod, Russia, Sept. 21, 2022. Sputnik/Gavriil Grigorov/Pool via REUTERS

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UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 21 (Reuters) – European Union foreign ministers will meet urgently later on Wednesday to discuss new sanctions and arms supplies to Kiev after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the mobilization of thousands of Russians to settle in Ukraine. to fight.

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The bloc’s 27 foreign ministers are in New York for the annual meeting of world leaders at the United Nations.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Putin’s announcement — which included steps to annex parts of Ukrainian territory and a threat to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia — showed panic and despair. read more

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“Ministers should discuss this threat, reiterate continued support for Ukraine and warn the international community about the unacceptable situation Putin is putting us all in,” Borrell told reporters.

He said ministers would discuss continued military aid to Ukraine and an eighth sanctions package against Russia.

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“It is clear that Russia wants to destroy Ukraine,” Borrell said. “We won’t be intimidated.”

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said in an interview with Reuters that Putin tried to scare and divide the West, but his latest comments were a “game-changing moment”.

Wednesday’s meeting should emphasize unity, move forward quickly with a new sanctions package and use the European Peace Facility financing mechanism to ramp up arms supplies to Ukraine, he said.

“We must also declare the commitment of legal responsibility. The Fuhrers in the Kremlin should not take it for granted that their responsibility for the genocide war is taken lightly,” he said.

Keeping unity between the 27 for a sanctions package could prove complicated amid a power supply crisis that has hit the bloc hard. Hungary rejected the idea on Tuesday.

“It’s different now,” Reinsalu said. “There is a saying in aviation that regulations are written with the blood of victims of air disasters. Well, all (sanction) packages are written with the blood and atrocities committed by Russia.”

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Reporting by Michelle Nichols and John Irish; adaptation by Jonathan Oatis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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