By RAF CASERT and FOSTER KLUG
BRUSSELS (AP) — World leaders expressed a raw outrage shrouded by an impotence to immediately come to the aid of Ukraine to avoid a major war in Europe, condemning Russia’s attack on its neighbor as the European Union and others promised unprecedented sanctions to hit the Kremlin.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called it a “barbaric attack” on an independent nation that also targeted “the stability in Europe and the whole of the international peace order.” The EU will hold an emergency summit in Brussels, where NATO is also meeting after Poland and the Baltic nations bordering Russia and Ukraine called for an urgent session.
But no one promised to move in militarily and defend Ukraine as it could touch off a major European war. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned anyone listening that any interference would “lead to consequences you have never seen in history.”
So instead, most of the world — but not China — condemned and threatened to hit the Russian elites with, in the words of EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, “the strongest package, the harshest package of sanctions we have ever implemented.”