Here’s How the World Is Reacting to Russia Sending Troops Into Ukraine

In a major move, Germany said it would refuse to certify the controversial $10 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline that was set to supply natural gas from Russia.
vladimir putin ukraine russia germany sanctions
The world is watching nervously. PHOTO: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Vladimir Putin’s declaration that Russia recognises the self-declared “people's republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine as independent has sparked reaction from leaders around the world. He said he would send Russian troops to the areas, which have been fought over by Russian-backed soldiers and Ukrainian forces since 2014.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for “massive sanctions” against Russia. He said: "I don't know why the West is waiting. The aggression is already here."



Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that the situation was “extremely serious” and “action must now follow.” 

In a dramatic move, he pulled the plug on the hotly disputed $10bn Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which has long been in construction to supply Germany with gas from Russia, saying, "The situation now is a different one".

He added that pausing the certification sent a "clear signal to Moscow that such actions will not remain without consequences."

The pipeline has been stiffly opposed by the US and some European states, who argue that Russia is using its massive gas reserves to exert political pressure.

In a phone call with the Russian leader, Scholz had warned him that recognition of the regions as independent would be “a gross contradiction of the Minsk agreement for a peaceful settlement of the conflict in east Ukraine and a unilateral breach of these deals from the Russian side.” 


No messing around from US President Joe Biden, who immediately signed an executive order to prohibit trade and investment between US citizens and the two breakaway regions that Russia claims are not Ukrainian territory.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CBS that the US believes Russia is pressing ahead with its plans to invade. 


Boris Johnson chaired an emergency Cobra meeting on Tuesday morning in response to Putin’s declaration. He said he would swiftly unveil the first sanctions against Russia and warned of “more Russian irrational behaviour to come.”



Paris followed suit and condemned Putin’s move, calling for sanctions. A statement published by the French presidency read: "The president condemns the decision... He is demanding an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council as well as the adoption of targeted European sanctions.” Ambassadors from the European Union are meeting on Tuesday to discuss them. 


Hayashi Yoshimasa, Japan’s foreign minister, condemned Putin’s move as a “ violation of international law.” He added Japan would coordinate with NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg on sanctions. 


President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called Putin’s recognition of Ukraine’s separatist regions “unacceptable” and said: “We have been sincerely striving to de-escalate tensions in this crisis and sent our messages regarding the solution of the issue.”


China’s UN ambassador did not condemn Putin’s recognition of the two states – but he did call for “all parties” to avoid “fueling tensions” in Ukraine.

China and Russia have traditionally backed each other in avoiding NATO expansion near their territory.  

At the same UN Security Council meeting, the Kenyan ambassador Martin Kimani gave an impassioned speech about what the Kremlin’s move meant in a post-colonial world.


And how has Putin responded?

Russian stock markets have plunged in response to Putin’s announcement. His immediate response seems to have been to calm nervous investors and kick back against sanctions. 

This morning, Putin gave a statement to the Gas Exporting Countries Forum saying: “Russia intends to continue uninterrupted supplies of this raw material, including LNG (liquefied natural gas), to world markets, improve the relevant infrastructure, and increase the investment in the gas sector.”

He added: “We are convinced that it is in the interests of the world community to ensure that the energy transition does not turn into a means of advancing the political and economic interests of individual players and, moreover, is not accompanied by sanctions or other restrictions.”