Russia is taking the invasion to “another stage” and is now waging a “war against NATO and the West,” a senior EU official said, referring to indiscriminate attacks on civilians and non-military targets.
Stefano Sannino, the secretary general of the EU’s European External Action Service, defended the decision by Germany, the UK and the US to send military equipment to Ukraine, including tanks, and criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for waging a “war against NATO and the West”.
Speaking at a news conference in Tokyo on Friday, Sannino said the German, American and British tanks were meant to help Ukrainians defend themselves in war, rather than turning them into aggressors.
“I think the latest development in terms of armed supplies is just a development of the situation and the way Russia has started to move the war to another stage,” he said.
The European Union does not move the war to another stage, but “only gives the possibility to save lives and allows the Ukrainians to defend themselves from these barbaric attacks”, he added.
Last Wednesday, Germany and the US announced they would send advanced tanks to Ukraine, what one European expert called “armoured firepower” to help Kiev break the stalemate as the Russian invasion enters its 12th month.
The decision marked the first stage of a coordinated effort by the West to provide dozens of heavy weapons, which Ukrainian military commanders say will enable counterattacks, reduce casualties and help restore dwindling ammunition supplies.