“If you look the international reaction at that time [the beginning of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict] it was very strong including the General Assembly of the United Nations because what happened to Crimea was such a flagrant violation of international law,” said Bildt, Ukraine Today reported. 

“When operation moved on to Donbas, Russians muddled the water somewhat, but the Crimea started with the green men and they didn't really want to say what they were. But with the March 18 speech and the annexation, the violation of international law was so clear cut that there was a strong reaction,” Bildt said.

When asked if there are signs Russia is willing to engage in another hybrid war in Syria, Bildt said: “I still don't think that they will go fighting in Syria; but you never know. But it might be that they are putting a cord there in order to say that we are an actor, we are the player in the Middle East, we want to be part of that particular game.”

Carl Bildt went on to say that Russia is definitely seen as threat to the European security: “When you start violating the borders, internationally recognized borders, and start to conduct aggression against independent countries, then you are violating the very fundamentals of the order of peace and security in Europe. They are a threat, no question.”

Commenting on Russia’s intentions to come forward with a tough response to any Sweden’s attempts to reconsider its neutrality status, earlier voiced by the Russian Ambassador to Sweden, Bildt said “it is a sovereign decision of Sweden to decide whether we are going to do that or whether we are going to do that and the Russian ambassador had been told in no uncertain terms that he should deal with other things.”

See unian.info’s video section for more of the latest news from Ukraine in video from Ukraine Today, Ukraine’s 24-hour English-language news channel.