After a phone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the newly-appointed German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbok said Russia would face “serious consequences” if it invaded Ukraine.
That’s according to Reuters, Ukrinform reports.
The German Foreign Ministry says during the phone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on December 14, Baerbock called for an “open and honest” dialogue with Russia over the aggression against Ukraine.
Their call was the first publicly announced contact between Berlin and Moscow since Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition government took power last week.
The Foreign Ministry also stressed that Ukraine’s territorial integrity “must not be violated.”
According to the publication, neither of the parties has made a mention of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project in their respective statements following the call.
After that, Baerbock met in Stockholm with her Swedish and Norwegian counterparts. At their joint press conference, the German top diplomat said: “Any form of intervention in the sovereignty of Ukraine would have massive consequences for the Russian regime – of an economic and diplomatic nature.”
As reported, about 100,000 Russian troops have been amassed near Ukraine’s borders.
Earlier, the head of the GUR military intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, said Russian forces could invade as early as January or February, from several directions: through the eastern border (both in government-controlled and non-controlled territories), as well as from Crimea and Belarus.
World leaders and organizations have warned Russia of the serious consequences to which the potential invasion of Ukraine would lead.