Tuesday 30 May 2017

Anger mounting over Putin's defiance

Russian President Vladimir Putin, centre, and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, and the commander of the Western Military District Anatoly Sidorov, right, arrive to watch military exercise near St.Petersburg, Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin, centre, and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, and the commander of the Western Military District Anatoly Sidorov, right, arrive to watch military exercise near St.Petersburg, Russia
John Downing

John Downing

THERE has been growing international condemnation of Russia's actions.

An angry German Chancellor Angela Merkel was reported to have become "really annoyed" about Russian President Vladimir Putin, and has questioned whether he "was still in touch with reality".

The German mass circulation 'Bild' newspaper wrote yesterday that during a telephone conversation she had held with Mr Obama to discuss the growing crisis in Ukraine, she complained that Mr Putin was "living in another world". Meanwhile, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said Russia must respect international law – or face the risk of EU sanctions.

Mr Gilmore was speaking at an EU foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels on the Ukranian crisis.

"This is the worst crisis which Europe has faced since the end of the Cold War. I strongly condemn what has taken place in Crimea over the weekend and call on Russia to immediately withdraw troops to their barracks. I will call in the Russian ambassador to Ireland to express our condemnation of Russia's actions in Crimea and to ensure that he conveys Ireland's deep concern to his government."

He said he believed that as a minimum Russia should withdraw its troops into barracks in the Crimea in line with international treaties.

Brussels diplomats said there were problems arriving at consensus on how the EU should respond, but that some form of sanctions against Russia were a distinct possibility if mediation failed.

Irish Independent

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