Von der Leyen: Russia, the "most immediate threat" to world order

Russia is now posing the “most immediate threat” to international order following its military invasion of Ukraine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in Tokyo today.

Russia “is today the most immediate threat to world order, with its barbaric war against Ukraine and its troubling agreement with China,” von der Layen said after talks with his president. European Council Charles Michel, with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

The top two European officials are in Tokyo today for the annual Japan-EU round of talks, this time in the midst of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, amid growing concerns about China’s military ambitions.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine does not only concern Europe, it shakes the heart of the international order, and Asia as well. “It must not be tolerated.”

At the same time, the most aggressive stance that the West and its allies in Asia are accusing China of is also on the agenda, with the EU seeking to play a more active role.

“Our co-operation in Ukraine is crucial in Europe, but it is also important in the Indo-Pacific region, and we also want to deepen our increasingly demanding consultation with China,” Michel said.

“We believe that China needs to reaffirm that it will defend the multilateral system it has used to grow,” he added.

Ms von der Leyen said the EU and Japan would strengthen their co-operation, especially by entering into a digital partnership, a first for Europe, in terms of competitiveness and security in this area.

He added that the two sides would work together to “diversify and strengthen” their supply chains.

“This is important because there are materials and technologies that have become obsolete for our economy and our daily lives, such as semiconductors, for example. “We must be able to count on reliable supply chains,” he said.

Read more: Ukraine: Any business on Azovstal would be very costly

Source: ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ

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