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25 Feb, 2022 05:15

EU says new sanctions will strip Russia of ‘prosperous future’

The bloc says it will be imposing measures on 70% of Russia's banking industry in response to military action in Ukraine
EU says new sanctions will strip Russia of ‘prosperous future’

The European Union (EU) has announced sanctions aimed at derailing Russia’s oil, banking, technology, and airline industries. The move would also target the Russian elite’s money in Europe, stripping diplomats and business-people of preferential access to the EU.

In response to Russia’s military attack on Ukraine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday announced a package of sanctions with the stated goal of cutting “Russia’s access to the most important capital markets.”

“We are now targeting 70% of the Russian banking market, but also key state-owned companies, including the field of defense, and these sanctions will increase Russia’s borrowing costs, raise inflation, and gradually erode Russia’s industrial base,” von der Leyen declared on Thursday, revealing that the EU was “also targeting the Russian elite by curbing their deposits so that they cannot hide their money anymore in safe havens in Europe.”

The European Union will also work to make it “impossible for Russia to upgrade its oil refineries” and to “ban the sale of all aircraft spare parts and equipment to Russian airlines” in an effort to “degrade the key sector of Russia’s economy and the country’s connectivity,” von der Leyen revealed, noting that “three-quarters of Russia’s current commercial fleets were built in the European Union, the US, and Canada.”

Finally, the EU will limit Russia’s access to “crucial technology” and “important technologies it needs to build a prosperous future,” and will strip Russian diplomats and businessmen of their “privileged access to the European Union.”

On Thursday, von der Leyen condemned Russia’s “barbaric attack” on Ukraine and “the cynical arguments to justify it,” and accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of “bringing war back to Europe.”

“Russia's target is not only Donbass, the target is not only Ukraine, the target is the stability in Europe and the whole of the international peace order,” she claimed.

On Thursday, Putin launched a “special military operation” in the Donbass, which has since expanded to Ukrainian territory, saying it was needed to protect the people of the newly recognized Lugansk and Donetsk republics from “Ukrainian aggression.” The Russian leader claimed that the operation’s goal was to “demilitarize” and “denazify” Ukraine, while accusing the authorities in Kiev of subjecting the population of the Donbass to eight years of “genocide” following the US-backed coup in 2014, which brought down an elected government in Kiev.