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Russia invades Ukraine: Political, military leaders' reactions

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By Reuters

– Following is a rundown of reactions from political leaders and other senior figures shaping events after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

RUSSIANPRESIDENTVLADIMIRPUTIN

“I have decided to conduct a special military operation… to protect people who have been subjected to bullying and genocide… for the last eight years.

“And for this we will strive for the demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine. And to bring to court those who committed numerous bloody crimes against civilians, including against citizens of the Russian Federation.”

UKRAINIANPRESIDENTVOLODYMYRZELINSKIY

“Russia treacherously attacked our state in the morning, as Nazi Germany did in the WW2 years.

“As of today, our countries are on different sides of world history. Russia has embarked on a path of evil, but Ukraine is defending itself & won’t give up its freedom no matter what Moscow thinks.”

NATOSECRETARY-GENERALJENSSTOLTENBERG

“This is a deliberate, cold-blooded and long-planned invasion…

“Peace on our continent has been shattered Russia is using force to try to rewrite history, and deny Ukraine its free and independent path…

“We have no plans to send NATO troops in Ukraine. What we do is defensive.”

U.S PRESIDENTJOEBIDEN

“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering…

“I will be meeting with the leaders of the G7, and the United States and our allies and partners will be imposing severe sanctions on Russia.”

EUROPEANCOMMISSIONPRESIDENTURSULAVONDERLEYEN

“President Putin is responsible for bringing war back to Europe…

“We will target strategic sectors of the Russian economy by blocking their access to key technologies and markets. We will weaken Russia’s economic base and its capacity to modernise.”

“In addition, we will freeze Russian assets in the EU and stop the access of Russian banks to the European financial market.”

EUROPEANCOMMISSIONFOREIGNPOLICYCHIEFJOSEPBORRELL

“These are among the darkest hours of Europe since the Second World War.

“The EU will respond in the strongest possible terms and agree on the harshest package of sanctions we have ever implemented.”

GERMANCHANCELLOROLAFSCHOLZ

“Putin is bringing suffering and destruction to his direct neighbours, he is violating the sovereignty and borders of Ukraine.

“He is endangering the lives of countless innocent people (and)… the peace order on our continent. For all that there is no justification. This is Putin’s war.”

GERMANECONOMYMINISTERROBERTHABECK

“We have a land war in Europe that we thought was only to find in history books… For Russia, this attack will have severe political and economic consequences.”

FRENCHPRESIDENTEMMANUELMACRON

“France strongly condemns the decision of Russia to start a war with Ukraine. Russia must immediately put an end to its military operations.”

BRITISHPRIMEMINISTERBORISJOHNSON

“President Putin has chosen a path of bloodshed and destruction by launching this unprovoked attack on Ukraine…

“This is a catastrophe for our continent.”

CHINESEFOREIGNMINISTRYSPOKESPERSONHUACHUNYING

“You are using a typical Western media question method of using the word invasion.

“China is closely monitoring the latest situation. We call on all sides to exercise restraint to prevent the situation from getting out of control.”

GERMANARMYCHIEFLIEUTENANTGENERALALFONSMAIS

“In my 41th year of peace-time service, I would not have thought that I would have to experience a war.

“And the Bundeswehr, the army which I have the honour to command, is standing there more or less empty-handed. The options we can offer the government in support of the (NATO)alliance are extremely limited…

“We have all seen it coming but were not able to get through with our arguments to draw the consequences after (Russia’s) annexation of Crimea. This does not feel good. I am fed up with it.”

TURKISHFOREIGNMINISTRY

“This attack is a grave violation of international law and poses a serious threat to the security of our region and the world.

“We call on the Russian Federation to immediately end this unjust and unlawful act.”

HUNGARIANPRIMEMINISTERVIKTORORBAN

“With our EU and NATO allies, we condemn Russia’s military attack.”

PORTUGUESEPRIMEMINISTERANTONIOCOSTA

“The answer to this crisis should be a diplomatic solution… NATO will not intervene or act in Ukraine.

“Ukrainian citizens who have family, friends and acquaintances here are welcome in Portugal.”

ISRAELIFOREIGNMINISTERYAIRLAPID

“Russia’s attack on Ukraine is a grave breach of international order. Israel condemns the attack.”

RUSSIAN EX-OILTYCOONANDARCHKREMLINCRITICMIKHAILKHODORKOVSKY

“It is Putin and his entourage who started the war in order to hold on to their power – not the Russian people.

“Unleashing a war of aggression and using the armed forces for personal gain signifies that a junta led by Putin has seized power in Russia.”

EUROPEANCENTRALBANKPOLICYMAKERYANNISSTOURNARAS

“In my view it is going to have a short-term inflationary effect – that is prices will increase due to higher energy costs.

“But in the medium to long term I think that the consequences will be deflationary through adverse trade effects.”