“Germany has been dragging its feet from the beginning,” says a community source. Indeed, since the first package of sanctions, Berlin has been holding back decision-making, such as the disconnection of Russian banks from the Swift financial mechanism. A month has passed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, and practically the same time since that decision against the Russian financial system. But, throughout this month, the EU has not finished including the most exposed Russian banks in the energy market, and neither has the giant Gazprom. Why? Due to the enormous German dependence on Russian gas, shared by other countries, such as Hungary and Germany, for example, which fear the consequences that the disruption of cutting off Russian gas before having a substitute could have for those countries and the rest of the EU.
But that bill of 600 million euros per day paid by the EU countries serves as fuel for the war unleashed by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. And the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, not only knows it, but has been denouncing it from day one. And this Thursday night he did it before the EU leaders meeting in Brussels.
A request for more sanctions that US President Joe Biden has also made to European leaders, while finalizing an agreement with the European Commission to provide more liquefied gas to the EU and thus reduce dependence on the US.RELATED
Zelenski has claimed at 27 more commercial sanctions on Russia, that those daily millionaire transfers to the Kremlin end. In accordance with data provided by the Center for Research on Energy and Clean AirEurope has paid almost €20 billion for Russian energy since the start of the war, more than half of it in gas.
The Ukrainian president has directly addressed the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán: “You have to decide for yourself who you are with. You are a sovereign state. I have been to Budapest. You have lived tragic moments. I visited your boardwalk. I saw that memorial. Shoes on the bank of the Danube [en recuerdo al Holocausto nazi]. Listen, Viktor, do you know what’s going on in Mariupol? If you can, go to your boardwalk. Look at those shoes. And you will see how mass murder can happen again in today’s world. That is what Russia is doing today. The same shoes. In Mariupol, there are the same people. Adults and children. Grandparents. And you doubt whether to impose sanctions? And you doubt whether to let the weapons pass? And you doubt whether to trade with Russia or not? There is no time to hesitate. It’s time to decide now. We believe in you. We need your support. We believe in your people.”
And he added: “We believe in the European Union. And we believe that Germany will also be with us at the crucial moment.”
In his speech before the 27, the Ukrainian president also criticized the EU for the fact that the sanctions have been late: “If they had been preventive, Russia would not have gone to war. We are thankful for the Nord Stream 2 crash, but it was also a bit late. Had it been in time, Russia would not have created a gas crisis. And now we are preparing Ukraine’s entry into the European Union. And I ask you not to be late, please. You have seen that Ukraine should be in the EU in the near future.”
“Lithuania is with us; Latvia defends us; Estonia is with us; and Poland”, Zelensky said: “France, Emanuel, I really believe that you will defend us. Slovenia is with us; and Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Romania knows what dignity is, so she will be by our side at the crucial moment. Bulgaria is with us; Greece is with us. And Germany… a little late. Portugal, well, almost… Croatia is with us; Sweden, yellow and blue must always be together; Finland, I know that she is with us. Holland is rational, so we will find common ground. With Malta I think we will succeed, and also with Denmark. With Luxembourg we understand each other; and Cyprus I think you are with us. Italy, thanks for your support! Spain, we will find points in common; Belgium: we will find arguments. Austria, it is a chance that you are with the Ukrainians. I’m sure of it; and Ireland, well, almost”.
In their conclusions this Friday morning on Ukraine, the EU leaders avoid specifying the trade sanctions that Zelensky demands: “The European Union has so far adopted significant sanctions that are having a massive impact on Russia and Belarus, and is prepared to closing loopholes and pursuing possible sanctions circumvention, as well as moving quickly with more robust sanctions against Russia and Belarus to effectively thwart Russian capabilities to continue aggression. The European Council urges all countries to align with those sanctions. Any attempt to circumvent sanctions or help Russia by other means must be stopped.”
In addition, the European Council approves the launch of a fund for the reconstruction of the country after the war has ended: “Taking into account the destruction and the enormous losses caused in Ukraine by Russia’s military aggression, the European Union undertakes to support the Ukrainian Government for its immediate needs and, once the Russian onslaught has subsided, for the reconstruction of a democratic Ukraine. To that end, the European Council agrees to develop a Ukraine Solidarity Trust Fund and invites its international partners to participate, calling for preparations to start without delay. It calls on the Commission to continue to provide technical assistance to help Ukraine implement the necessary reforms.”
tanks and planes
In his address to NATO leaders, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said: “I just want you to know that the Alliance can still save the Ukrainians from Russian missiles by giving us everything we ask for. Yes, we are not within NATO and I have no claim to be. I am sure that you have already understood that Russia will not remain alone in Ukraine. She will go over the NATO members, over the Baltic countries and Poland”.
“Never again say that our army does not meet NATO standards,” Zelensky said: “Ukraine asked for planes, so that so many people do not die. And they have thousands of fighter planes! But they haven’t given us any yet. We ask for tanks. So that we can unblock our cities that are now falling: Mariupol, Berdyansk, Melitopol… Cities where Russia is holding hundreds of thousands of people hostage and artificially creating famine: no water, no food, nothing. They have at least 20,000 tanks! Ukraine asked for 1% of all its tanks to be delivered or sold! But we still don’t have a clear answer… The worst thing during war is not having clear answers to requests for help. Ukraine never wanted this war. And he doesn’t want to fight for years. We just want to save our people. We want to survive! Like any nation, we have the right to life. The right to this 1%”.
“To save our population and our cities, Ukraine needs unrestricted military assistance,” he insisted to allies: “Russia is using its entire arsenal against us. She is destroying every living thing. Any target, from houses to churches, from food warehouses to universities, from bridges to hospitals,” Zelensky said: “The worst thing in a war is not having clear answers to calls for help. I want you to know that the Alliance can still prevent the deaths of Ukrainians in Russian attacks, by the Russian occupation, by supplying us with the weapons we need. The European Council calls for the organization of an international conference to raise funds in the framework of the Trust Fund for Solidarity with Ukraine”.