VILNIUS – Sanctions will not stop Russian President Vladimir Putin who launched a military operation in Ukraine on Thursday, ex-Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite says, adding that it needs to be down in a battlefield.
"Threats to isolate or deter with sanctions have not stopped and will not stop the aggressor. Sanctions are only a late punishment. A WAR CRIMINAL can only be stopped in a battlefield," the former president posted on Facebook on Thursday.
"So stop moving air with empty talks and take teal action," she said.
Having been massing some 150,000 troops near Ukraine's borders, Putin announced a military operation in the neighboring country early Thursday morning.
Earlier this week Moscow recognized Ukraine's two eastern pro-Kremlin separatist regions as independent states.
Having imposed sanctions earlier, Western countries threaten to tighten them.
Ahead of his visit to Brussels to attend a European Council meeting, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda on Thursday called for sanctions not only for Moscow but also for Belarus.