West 'can't keep offering olive branch' while Russia masses troops: EU chief

Ahram Online , AFP , Sunday 20 Feb 2022

Western allies can't keep offering an olive branch while Russia continues to dial up tensions along the Ukrainian border, European Council President Charles Michel said Sunday.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a media statement with Czech Republic s Prime Minister Petr Fiala prior to a meeting in Brussels, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. AP

"The big question remains: does the Kremlin want dialogue?" Michel asked at the Munich Security Conference. "We cannot forever offer an olive branch while Russia conducts missile tests and continues to amass troops," he added.

Earlier on Sunday, the EU urged Russia to de-escalate by substantial withdrawal of military forces from the proximity of Ukraine's borders.

In a press release, the EU condemned the use of heavy weaponry and indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas, which constitutes a clear violation of the Minsk agreements and international humanitarian law.

"The EU is extremely concerned that staged events, as noted recently, could be used as a pretext for possible military escalation," the press release read.


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