French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Monday that “all the elements” were in place for Russia to stage an attack on Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to prevent Ukraine from having sovereignty and territorial integrity. There are “all the elements” for staging an attack by Russia on Ukraine, he told the French public channel France 5.
Tensions in the Ukraine-Russia crisis have increased and should be reduced “urgently,” Le Drian said.
Le Drian also said that if Ukraine’s sovereignty or territorial integrity is questioned by the attack, Moscow will be sanctioned.
Also, France will support Ukraine financially but does not plan to send troops, Le Drian said, adding they will take “deterrent measures” so that Putin knows the “risks” he is taking.
Some Western media reports claimed that Russia could launch an attack on Ukraine on Wednesday.
Moscow recently amassed more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine, prompting fears that the Kremlin could be planning another military offensive against its former Soviet neighbor.
Russia has denied that it is preparing to invade and accused Western countries of undermining its security through NATO’s expansion towards its borders.
The Kremlin also issued a list of security demands to the West, including a rollback of troop deployments from some ex-Soviet states and guarantees that Ukraine and Georgia would not join NATO.