Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Sweden's FM: Pressure On Putin Will Bear Fruit
Via The Swedish Wire: European Union foreign ministers brandished the threat of sanctions on Russia for seizing swathes of Ukraine’s territory, Bloomberg said, while giving the Kremlin a chance to pull back its troops and seek a negotiated settlement. Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said that the gradual ratcheting-up of pressure on Russia will bear fruit. "Things add up", he said. "Every single measure in itself might look weak. But add things up and it changes things rather fundamentally". Russia will not go to war with the people of Ukraine, but will use its troops to protect citizens, if radicals with clout in Kiev now try to use violence against Ukrainian civilians, particularly ethnic Russians, Putin told the media, according to RT. Putin, who was given a mandate by the Russian senate to use military force to protect civilians in Ukraine, said there is no need for such an action yet. "If we see this lawlessness starting in eastern regions, if the people ask us for help – in addition to a plea from a legitimate president, which we already have – then we reserve the right to use all the means we possess to protect those citizens. And we consider it quite legitimate", he said.