Russia is waging war with all of Europe, the president of Lithuania warned on Saturday.
This week more than 1,000 Russian troops poured across the border into Ukraine, where they have joined Russia-aligned rebels in the fight against the Ukrainian government. The invasion has been met with outrage from world leaders, who have responded with a strong series of sanctions aimed at striking against Russia’s economic livelihood.
Now Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite has upped the pressure, saying that Russia’s actions are effectively declaring war against the entire EU.
“It is the fact that Russia is in a war state against Ukraine. That means it is in a state of war against a country which would like to be closely integrated with the EU. Practically Russia is in a state of war against Europe,” she told reporters in English at an EU summit.
“That means we need to help Ukraine to… defend its territory and its people and to help militarily, especially with the military materials to help Ukraine to defend itself because today Ukraine is fighting a war on behalf of all Europe,” the leader of the former Soviet state said.
Grybauskaite is one of the first leaders to call for military action against Russia. So far most have only spoken of sanctions, including stripping Russia of the 2018 World Cup. Grybauskaite added that the EU should add to an arms embargo against Russia by halting arms sales under existing contracts.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has been one of the most vocal, saying that Russia’s military actions in Ukraine must “cease immediately.”
“I’m extremely concerned by mounting evidence that Russian troops have made large-scale incursions into South Eastern Ukraine, completely disregarding the sovereignty of a neighbor,” Cameron said. “The international community has already warned Russia that such provocative actions would be completely unacceptable and illegal.”
While sanctions have been put in place, Russian troops are still in Ukraine and Vladimir Putin has remained undeterred.