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How Will the EU Respond to Russian Aggression in Ukraine?

MIN READJan 25, 2022 | 21:28 GMT

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gives a statement on Ukraine at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on Jan. 24, 2022.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gives a statement on Ukraine at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on Jan. 24, 2022.

(JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images)

The European Union will likely impose robust economic sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine, but the bloc will struggle to come up with high-impact punitive measures in response to other, more likely acts of Russian aggression. In recent days, EU governments have intensified their debate over how to deal with a potential escalation of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. While member states agree that a formal Russian invasion would trigger economic and political sanctions against Moscow, the bloc is internally divided over how to react to disinformation campaigns, cyberattacks, attempts to destabilize the Ukrainian government or interruptions in natural gas supplies to Ukraine, which are some of Russia’s many options. Eastern European and Baltic governments believe that a cyberattack or a disinformation campaign should be enough to trigger sanctions against Russia, but some Western European governments have defended a more cautious approach, arguing it would be hard to identify the...

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