President Vladimir Putin’s latest steps in Russia’s war against Ukraine show his panic and the European Union will continue supporting Kyiv, three of the bloc’s leaders said on Wednesday.
The Belgian and Dutch prime ministers and the chairman of all the EU’s 27 national leaders spoke after Putin mobilized more troops for Ukraine, backed a plan to annex swathes of the country and issued a nuclear threat to the West.
“It is all a sign of panic. His rhetoric on nuclear weapons is something we have heard many times before, and it leaves us cold,” said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. “It is all part of the rhetoric we know. I would advise to remain calm.”
His Belgian peer, Alexander de Croo, also urged a calm response between not provoking Russia, and supporting Ukraine.
“We must not add fuel to the fire,” he said.” We must be clear in our position and continue to support Ukraine.”
The EU leaders’ chairman, European Council President Charles Michel, said the bloc would not be scared away from supporting Ukraine.
“In this war, there is only one aggressor, Russia, and one aggressed country, Ukraine. EU’s support to #Ukraine will remain steadfast,” he said.