Russia’s recognition ‘unjustified’ act: European defence ministers

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Russia’s recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk regions as independent states is an “unjustified act”, defence ministers from the UK, the Netherlands, the Baltic states and Nordic countries have said, BBC reported.

The defence ministers from 10 countries are part of the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force, and they issued the statement after a meeting in Leicestershire.

In a news conference, the UK’s defence secretary, Ben Wallace, said the recognition of the two republics was not only against international law but also basically trashes the Minsk agreements, a report by BBC said.

Wallace said there were plenty more sanctions “in the tank” after those announced on Tuesday, but stressed the importance of imposing sanctions in “lockstep” with allies.

He said the Joint Expeditionary Force would also conduct “freedom of movement exercises” in the coming weeks in the Baltic Sea.

The Defence ministers from the Baltic States have called for more Nato forces to be deployed in their countries and for more military support.

Wallace said, “We’re absolutely open to doing even more if required, because we need to send that clear signal to President (Vladimir) Putin,” BBC reported.

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