Von der Leyen: «Barbaric attack. Sanctions for Russian strategic sectors “

Of Francesca Basso, correspondent from Brussels

Tonight the Extraordinary European Council will decide on further sanctions against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine. Von der Leyen: Blocked access to technologies and markets. Russian assets in the EU frozen and Russian banks blocked access to European financial markets

The European Union reacts to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (photos of the attack here). In a joint statement this morning, the President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the President of the European Council Charles Michel announced that in the extraordinary summit EU leaders will discuss the war in Ukraine and further sanctions tonight. We condemn this barbaric attack and the cynical arguments used to justify it, said the president of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen who, with the EU High Representative for European Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, explained what the new package of massive and targeted sanctions with which strategic sectors of the Russian economy will be affected: access to technologies and markets that are crucial for Russia will be blocked. The goal, said von der Leyen, is to weaken Russia’s economic base and its capacity for modernization. They will also be Russian assets in the EU frozen and Russian banks’ access to European financial markets blocked.

President Putin responsible for bringing the war back to Europe said denounced von der Leyen and what we are facing an unprecedented act of aggression by the Russian leadership against a sovereign and independent country. For the president, Russia’s goal is not just Donbass, not just Ukraine, the goal is stability in Europe and the entire rules-based international order. For this, we will hold Russia responsible. Von der Leyen underlined the compactness between the EU countries and the allies also on the new round of measures: As with the first package of sanctions (which entered into force on Wednesday, ed), we are closely aligned with partners and allies. These sanctions are designed to target the interests of the Kremlin and Russia’s ability to finance the war.

High Representative Borrell said that the Russian leadership will face unprecedented isolation. Not a question of blocks. This is not about diplomatic power plays. a matter of life and death, it concerns the future of our global community. He also announced the evacuation of EU staff to Ukraine which had so far been kept in place.

In the morning, the 27 ambassadors of the EU countries met to examine the new package of sanctions and everyone agrees on the need to increase it. The new package includes the ban on technology transfer for the extraction of hydrocarbons (this is the part dedicated to the energy sector), control over the export of dual use technology, i.e. for civilian and military use, ban on financing by EU banks of projects already Concordats of Russian public enterprises, freezing of the European accounts of the oligarchs and freezing of materials destined for air transport systems. The issue of visas from Russian service diplomatic passports was also addressed. Further individual sanctions are being assessed. Poland has asked to invite Ukrainian President Zelensky to the summit tonight. The ambassadors will meet again in the afternoon and then the sanctions package will be submitted to the EU leaders who meet in the evening. Some Member States have insisted on applying as many sanctions as soon as possible, while Germany, Italy, France but also Cyprus insist on graduality.

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