A host of European politicians are currently mulling sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s Russia over its aggression against Ukraine.
The move comes after Russia captured three Ukrainian vessels at sea, an incident the West fears could ignite a wider conflict.
Russia opened fire on the Ukrainian boats and then seized them and their crews on Sunday near Crimea – which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Bartosz Cichocki told Reuters the incident in the Kerch Strait vindicated Warsaw’s call for a more unified Western stance towards Russia.
“Russia remains wrongly convinced that the reaction of the West isn’t unified … because in energy matters there is one stance and in defence matters there is another,” he said, noting that some EU states such as Germany backed the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that increases Europe’s reliance on Russian gas.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert also raised Nord Stream 2 on Tuesday when asked to comment on the Ukraine-Russia spat, saying some European nations should review their support for a project that “helps the Russian government”.
Nauert also said Europe could more vigorously implement existing sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine.
“The United States government has taken a very strong position in … support of Ukraine. We would like other countries to do more as well,” she told a regular briefing in Washington.
Reacting to the development, U.S. President Donald Trump said he might cancel his scheduled meeting with Putin at the G20 summit in Argentina this week over the maritime clash, adding, “I don’t like that aggression.”
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