The EU “is not at war with Russia”, European Council President Charles Michel told El Pais in an interview published on Monday.
Western nations should not get involved in the conflict between Moscow and Kiev, he said, arguing that a confrontation between Russia and NATO would mean nothing short of a nuclear world war, RT reported.
“Russia is a nuclear power and we are well aware that if this conflict turns into [a conflict] between NATO and Russia, we will roll down into the Third World War,” the former Belgian Prime Minister told El Pais on Saturday, following Friday’s EU summit in Versailles, France.
Michel advocated for dialogue, warning that “all conflicts are dramatic, extreme and often difficult”, but Russia’s nuclear capabilities add a whole new “dimension of a different nature” to any potential military standoff with Moscow.
“I advocate pragmatism,” he said, adding that Europe should focus on pressing issues at hand like humanitarian access to areas affected by the military action, the status of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants, and peace negotiations between Moscow and Kiev.
“We need to talk to whoever is in Kremlin today, because democracies should talk to nations even if they are deemed not democratic,” Michel said.