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France's Macron vows 'no weakness' in reply to Russia's Ukraine invasion

French President Emmanuel Macron says France and its European allies did everything to try to head off the attack on Ukraine. He said that they will show no weakness in their response.

French newspaper Le Monde is reporting that the cellphones of French President Emmanuel Macron and 15 members of French government in 2019 may have been among potential targets of surveillance by spyware made by the Israel-based NSO Group. (AP Photo)

AP Paris
French President Emmanuel Macron says France and its European allies did everything to try to head off the attack on Ukraine. He said that they will show no weakness in their response.
Macron said in a televised address to the nation Thursday that Russia's attack is a turning point in European history and as a result there will be profound consequences for our continent and changes in our lives.
He said that to this act of war, we will reply without weakness, we will reply calmly and in a determined and united manner.
We have tried everything to avoid this war but it is here and we are ready, Macron said.
He said that sanctions will be proportionate to Russia's military operations, targeting its economy and its energy sector.
We will show no weakness, Macron said. We will take all measures necessary to defend the sovereignty and stability of our European allies.
Bratislava: The Slovak government has authorised the deployment of up to 1,500 soldiers to help guard the border with Ukraine following Russia's attack on Slovakia's eastern neighbour.
The defense ministry said Thursday they will be used if there is a massive wave of refugees.
The government said Slovakia is also ready to open more border crossings with Ukraine if needed.
Slovania last week lifted all coronavirus restrictions for potential refugees coming from Ukraine in the case of a Russian invasion.
Rome: Italian Premier Mario Draghi says Russia's attack on Ukraine has made dialogue with Moscow impossible.
He is demanding that Putin immediately stop the bloodshed and withdraw military forces.
Speaking after an urgent Cabinet meeting on Thursday, Draghi said Russia's operation concerns all of us, our way of living freely, our democracy.
He said Italy, which has kept its embassy in Kyiv open, fully supported very strong sanctions against Russia and was coordinating with NATO and EU allies to beef up security on NATO's eastern flank.
He said that "we are reinforcing our already significant contribution to the military deployments in all the most directly exposed Allied countries.
Helsinki: Latvian authorities say three Russian television channels will have their right to broadcast in Latvia suspended for several years with immediate effect.
They cited the channels' incitement to hatred against Ukraine, justification of war and spreading of disinformation on Ukraine, Latvia and other countries.
Latvia's National Electronic Mass Media Council said Thursday that there will be a ban on broadcasts of the Rossija RTR channel for five years, Rossija 24 channel for four years and TV Centre International for three years.
European Union and NATO member Latvia is urging other European nations to make a similar decision.
We are calling on all European Union member countries to use the evidence we have collected, follow our example and ban these three (Russian) channels in the entire territory of the EU, said the council's chairman, Ivars Abolins.
He said that in the last several years, we have closed 41 programmes associated with Russia. Unfortunately, other European countries have not done the same.
Geneva: The head of the UN refugee agency is warning of devastating consequences of Russia's military action in Ukraine and calling on neighbouring countries to keep their borders open for people fleeing the fighting.
Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, pointed to reports of casualties and people starting to flee their homes to seek safety without elaborating.
He said in a statement that UNHCR had stepped up its operations and capacity in Ukraine and its neighbouring countries, without providing details.
Kyiv: Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, says that Russia's key goal is clear: to oust the Ukrainian leadership and stir up as much panic as possible.
Podolyak said Thursday the Russians want to cut off part of the country and they moving in in big convoys.
He said that we are seeing attempts to estabilise the situation in big cities, including Kyiv and Kharkiv.
Ankara: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Russia's military actions in Ukraine violate international laws and amount to a heavy blow to regional peace and stability.
In an address to an international gathering in Ankara on Thursday, Erdogan said Turkey -- which has enjoyed close ties to both Russia and Ukraine sincerely regrets that the two countries are confronting each other.
We reiterate our call for a resolution of the problems between Russia and Ukraine, with which we have deep historical ties and friendly relations, through dialogue, within the framework of Minsk agreements, Erdogan said. He was referring to deals that aimed to restore peace in eastern Ukraine.
The Turkish leader said Turkey would do its part to ensure the safety of everyone living in Ukraine, including Turkish citizens and Crimean Tatars, with whom Turkey shares ethnic and cultural bonds.
Geneva: The head of a Nobel Peace Prize-winning anti-nuclear group says a warning from Russian President Vladimir Putin to anyone who might meddle in Russia's attack on Ukraine amounted to a threat to launch a nuclear war.
Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, was referring to the Russian leader's comments as the attack began that whoever tries to impede us, let alone create threats for our country and its people, must know that the Russian response will be immediate and lead to the consequences you have never seen in history.
Fihn, whose group won the Nobel prize in 2017, said Russia had manufactured a false justification for its military action in Ukraine and said Putin's warning was basically to launch a nuclear war.
She alluded to recent tests by Russia of intercontinental ballistic missiles and hypersonic missiles, saying that they smacked of basically the Russian military practicing mass-murdering civilians.
Bucharest: The president of Romania has condemned Russia's reprehensible attack on Ukraine and said that Russian President Vladimir Putin threatens the peace of the entire planet.
Romania borders Ukraine and is a member of NATO and the European Union. Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said that Russia chose the reprehensible and completely illegal path of massive armed violence against an independent and sovereign state.
Iohannis said that Romania, a country of about 19.5 million people, is ready to deal with economic and humanitarian consequences that the conflict could generate.
He stressed that Romania will not be drawn into the military conflict in Ukraine and said Romanian authorities will take absolutely all the necessary measures to ensure the safety of the country's citizens.
Prague: Czech President Milos Zeman, who has been a leading pro-Russian voice among European Union leaders, has condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine as an unprovoked act of aggression.
Zeman said in an address to the nation that Russia has committed a crime against peace.
A week ago, Zeman said that warnings of an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine were a failure by CIA. He said repeatedly he didn't believe Russian wanted to attack Ukraine.
I admit I was wrong, Zeman said Thursday. An irrational decision by the leadership of the Russian Federation will cause significant damages to the Russian state.
He called for harder sanctions against Russia, declaring that it's necessary to isolate a lunatic and not just to defend ourselves by words but also by deeds.
Brussels: NATO's secretary-general says Russia has launched war on Ukraine and shattered peace on the European continent.
Jens Stoltenberg called for a summit of NATO alliance leaders for Friday.
Stoltenberg said that this is a deliberate, cold-blooded and long-planned invasion. And he charged that Russia is using force to try to rewrite history.
Russia launched a wide-ranging attack on Ukraine earlier Thursday, hitting cities and bases with airstrikes or shelling. Ukraine's government said Russian tanks and troops rolled across the border.
Helsinki: NATO member Lithuania, which has borders with Russian ally Belarus and Russia's exclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea, has declared a state of emergency effective early Thursday afternoon due to the situation in Ukraine.
The decree signed Thursday by Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda steps up border protection. It gives authorities, among other things, the right to check and inspect vehicles, persons and luggage in the border area.
Lithuania also borders fellow NATO and European Union members Poland and Latvia.
Berlin: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has condemned Russia's attack on Ukraine, calling it a dark day for Europe and expressing his country's full solidarity with Kyiv.
Scholz said in a statement at the chancellery in Berlin on Thursday that new sanctions to be imposed on Russia by Germany and its allies would show that Putin has made a serious mistake with his war.
Addressing NATO allies in eastern Europe, Scholz said Germany understood their worries in light of the latest developments and stands by its commitments within the alliance.
Scholz said he and French President Emmanuel Macron proposed soon holding an in-person meeting of the heads of government of NATO member states.
Brussels: NATO has agreed to beef up its land, sea and air forces on its eastern flank near Ukraine and Russia after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a military offensive in Ukraine.
NATO ambassadors said in a statement after emergency talks Thursday that we have increased the readiness of our forces to respond to all contingencies.
While some of NATO's 30-member countries are supplying arms, ammunition and other equipment to Ukraine, NATO as an organisation is not. It will not launch any military action in support of Ukraine.
Countries closest to the conflict Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland are among those to have triggered rare consultations under Article 4 of NATO's founding treaty, which can be launched when the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the (NATO) parties is threatened.
We have decided, in line with our defensive planning to protect all allies, to take additional steps to further strengthen deterrence and defense across the Alliance, the envoys said in a statement. Our measures are and remain preventive, proportionate and non-escalatory.
Kyiv: An adviser to Ukraine's president says that Russian forces forged 10-20 kilometers (6-12 miles) deep into the Chernihiv region of northern Ukraine and are regrouping to continue the offensive.
But Oleksiy Arestovich said Thursday that Kyiv is under reliable protection and they will face tough battles.
Arestovich said that fighting is going on 4-5 kilometers (2 -3 miles) north of Ukraine's second-largest city of Kharkiv, in the country's northeast. He said Ukrainian troops destroyed four Russian tanks there. The adviser said that Russian troops that moved into Ukraine from Russian-annexed Crimea are trying to advance toward Melitopol and Kherson.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Feb 24 2022 | 7:10 PM IST

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