International condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been swift and sharp, with several leaders also promising a new, harsher wave of sanctions on Moscow in the coming hours.
German chancellor Olaf Scholz criticized Russia’s military operation “in the strongest possible terms,” calling it a “reckless act by President Putin,” a “terrible day for Ukraine and a dark day for Europe.”
“There is no justification for any of this — this is Putin’s war,” Scholz told reporters at a news conference in Berlin.
The European Union said: “We demand President Putin to cease Russian military operations immediately and unconditionally withdraw all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine.”
It added that Russia “bears full responsibility for this act of aggression and all the destruction and loss of life it will cause.”
And French President Emmanuel Macron, who had emerged as a key broker in Europe’s attempts to avert an invasion, wrote: “France stands in solidarity with Ukraine. It stands with Ukrainians and is working with its partners and allies to end the war.”
Elsewhere, Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said the country would provide humanitarian assistance to Ukraine if needed, adding: “Israel has long experience in wars, and war is not the way to resolve conflicts.”
And in Taiwan, which has been closely watching events in Europe given the claims of China’s Communist Party that the island is its territory, foreign ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou was quick to condemn Putin’s move.
“Ukrainian cities like Kyiv has been attacked by gunfire, leading to fears of a full-scale war between Russia and Ukraine,” she said. “We call on all sides to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and oppose the use of violence or coercion to change the status quo.”