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EU Split on Response to Russian Acts Short of Ukraine Invasion

  • Western allies are struggling to determine sanctions scenarios
  • The EU and U.S. have promised a massive response to aggression
A woman walks past a World War II-era Soviet T-34 tank at a display in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Jan. 25. 

A woman walks past a World War II-era Soviet T-34 tank at a display in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Jan. 25. 

Photographer: Sean Gallup/Getty Images 

European governments are struggling to decide what specific actions short of a military attack on Ukraine should trigger sanctions on Russia, complicating Western allies’ attempts to present a united front that could deter Moscow. 

European Union preparations, coordinated with the U.S., are focusing on other forms of possible Russian aggression, including a disinformation campaign, a cyberattack, limiting gas supplies or attempts to destabilize the government of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy or the central bank, according to EU officials with knowledge of the discussions.