EU imposes new sanctions on Russia in response to annexation of territories in Ukraine

The package includes an import ban on Russian products as a way to deprive them of an additional €7 billion in revenue.

Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFPursula von der leyen
Ursula von der Leyen announces new round of sanctions against Russia

THE European Union (EU) proposed an eighth package of sanctions against Russia for the war in Ukraine. These new impositions are a result of the annexation referendums of five Ukrainian regions that Vladimir Putin’s troops have partial control. Among the sanctions are a ceiling on the price of Russian oil, as well as restrictive measures against those responsible for the referendums on the annexation of Ukrainian territories. “A ceiling on the price of oil will help reduce Russia’s revenues, on the one hand, and keep the global energy market stable, on the other. In this package, we are laying the legal groundwork for this price cap,” said the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, adding that the Russians use the profits from the sale of fossil fuels to finance their offensive. The package includes new import bans on Russian products. “This will keep Russian products out of the European market and deprive Russia of an additional €7 billion in revenue,” according to von der Leyen. He also proposes to expand the list of products that can no longer be exported to Russia. “The objective here is to deprive the Russian military complex of key technologies. For example, these additional aviation components, electronic parts and specific chemicals.”

This eighth package of sanctions will also ban European citizens from holding positions on the boards of Russian state-owned companies. EU diplomacy chief Josep Borrell announced, in turn, that the new sanctions package will include “those involved in the occupation and illegal annexation of areas of Ukraine”, proposing to apply sanctions “to designated Russian authorities in Donetsk, Lugansk , Kherson and Zaporizhia”, as well as the people who “organized and facilitated false referendums”. The partial result of the referendum points to a victory by more than 90%. Von der Leyen considers this Russian position “an illegal attempt to take land and change international borders by force” and said they will not “accept false referendums, or any kind of annexation in Ukraine. And we are determined to make the Kremlin pay for this further escalation.”

On Wednesday, pro-Russian officials in the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Kherson announced that they asked the Russian president for annexation to Russia. “Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich, we ask that you examine the question of the accession of the Luhansk People’s Republic to Russia as a matter of the Russian Federation,” declared Luhansk (east) separatist leader Leonid Pasechnik in a text published on Telegram. “We are aware of the historical, cultural and spiritual bond with the multinational people of Russia,” said Pasechnik, who announced a trip to Moscow, alongside his colleague from the Ukrainian region of Donetsk (also in the east), Denis Pushilin, to formalize the agreement. request for annexation to Russia. A similar letter was sent by Vladimir Saldo, who heads Kherson’s occupation administration.

Faced with the latest events, the Ukrainian government appealed to allies to turn criticism into concrete facts. “Ukraine asks the EU, nato and the G7 to immediately and significantly increase pressure on Russia, including the imposition of tough new sanctions, as well as a significant increase in military aid to Ukraine,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. The ministry mentioned in particular “tanks, fighter planes, armed vehicles, long-range artillery, anti-aircraft material and anti-missile defense equipment”. The referendums represent a turning point in the war after Ukraine’s successful counteroffensive in recent weeks, which prompted Putin to announce a partial mobilization of reservists.

*With information from AFP

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