Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday demanded an immediate halt to the Nord Steam 2 project and Kyiv prepared to sever relations with Moscow in response to its recognition of two breakaway regions.
Zelensky also told reporters that the Kremlin was paving the way for a major military assault on Ukraine.
The Ukrainian leader said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions on Monday demanded a swift and punishing economic response from the West.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday recognised the independence of two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine in an emotional address broadcast on state-run television, despite warnings from the West that the move could lead to sweeping sanctions.
“I believe it is necessary to take a long overdue decision, to immediately recognise the independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic,” he said, before state television showed Putin signing mutual aid agreements with rebel leaders in the Kremlin.
Russia also called on other countries to “follow” it in recognising east Ukraine’s separatist republics and ordered the Russian army to send troops there as “peacekeepers.”