War in Ukraine: how can Putin be stopped?

The Russian military continued its large-scale attack on Ukraine on Thursday and Friday. According to official figures coming out of Kyiv, at least 137 people were killed on Thursday. Missiles also hit residential buildings. Tanks are reportedly advancing on the capital. More than 100,000 people are fleeing the attacks, according to the UN. Europe's press discusses what the EU and Nato can do.

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NV (UA) /

Deactivate Swift

Economic sanctions that would hit Russia hard do exist, journalist Ivan Werstjuk stresses in NV:

“The first is to disconnect the Russian financial system from the international payment system Swift. Roughly 600 billion US dollars worth of Russian money [about 535 billion euros] flow through this system daily. This includes Gazprom and Rosneft's profits from the sale of energy resources, cross-border payments by Russian banks and cash transfers by Russian citizens. If the West turns of this tap, Russia's economy would no longer receive money from abroad. .... Another option is to freeze the reserves of the Russian Central Bank, which amount to more than 640 billion US dollars [about 571 billion euros].”

Denník N (SK) /

We must be ready to make sacrifices

Denník N calls for the most severe punitive measures against Russia:

“Sanctions will hurt all of Europe, but we can contribute to Putin's defeat by patiently enduring the consequences. The world in which we could spend most of our time thinking about how to improve our lives and where to go on our summer holidays ends today. If peace is to return to our lives, we must understand that it will not come without sacrifices - hopefully only material ones.”

Politiken (DK) /

Sanctions alone are not enough

The pressure on Russia must go beyond sanctions, Politiken insists:

“Sanctions are not enough. The West will also have to up diplomatic and military pressure on Russia on all fronts. This goes for international organisations, where a suspension of Russia's membership should be considered - an obvious option here would be the Council of Europe. And it goes for military action: Nato must contain Russia on all fronts.”

Adevărul (RO) /

At least consider military response

If the EU and Nato categorically rule out military intervention Russia will turn Ukraine into a buffer zone, political analyst Cristian Unteanu points out in Adevărul:

“Does the West have any other solutions to punish Russia? More specifically: under what conditions will it be willing to consider the action in Ukraine a casus belli and thus a response to a massive security challenge in the immediate neighbourhood of the territory covered by Nato and the EU? Or on the contrary, will it try to rule out military engagement altogether, as it has repeatedly and officially promised to do? Will it allow the situation in Ukraine to develop in the direction of the strengthening of the buffer zone desired by Russia?”

e-vestnik (BG) /

Avoiding a world war is the top priority

Any military intervention by Nato would be a fatal mistake, e-vestnik warns:

“If Nato intervenes with military aid to defend Ukraine, World War III will break out. From the US point of view, this may not seem so scary. But from a European perspective it looks very scary indeed. ... Another solution must be found, as has been the case so many times since the Second World War. Brute force is not the way to go. ... But in politics and diplomacy anything is possible. Because a world war in the 21st century is no solution - and could mean the end of civilisation.”

Válasz Online (HU) /

Hungary must distance itself from Russia

The Hungarian government must now reflect and clarify who the country's real allies are, Válasz Online demands:

“The question of what the Hungarian government has done in the past twelve years in the name of foreign policy must be asked. ... How could we believe for even a moment that we could be pals with Russia without damaging our relations with the West, or that the war wouldn't affect us just because a Putin-Orbán meeting takes place every year? ... Who takes responsibility for the fact that Hungarian society has been poisoned [with uncritical pro-Russian narratives] for so long that our Nato and EU membership could be seriously called into question?”