(L-R) Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, French President Francois Hollande and Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho meet European Union leaders summit in Brussels, on December 18, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Emmanuel Dunand/Pool
EU Leaders Prepare For Long Confrontation With Russia -- Reuters
(Reuters) - European Union leaders warned Moscow they are ready to flex their combined muscle and "stay the course" in a long confrontation with Russia if President Vladimir Putin refuses to pull back from Ukraine.
"We must go beyond being reactive and defensive. As Europeans we must regain our self-confidence and realize our own strengths," said Donald Tusk, the former Polish premier who chaired a brief EU summit in Brussels on Thursday.
In comments that were part warning to Russia, where falling oil prices and Western trade sanctions have brought financial havoc, and part exhortation to an EU bloc divided between hawks and doves, Tusk said a united European front was vital.
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