“There Will Be More Sanctions If It Does Not Withdraw From Ukraine”

“We are ready to take further action if Putin does not stop the invasion.” It is the notice sent this Friday by the president of the European Commission to the president of Russia. Ursula von der Leyen made this statement together with the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, who sat in Brussels with the NATO and EU foreign ministers, showing unity in the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Nighttime satellite photos show how Ukraine fades after Russian attacks

Nighttime satellite photos show how Ukraine fades after Russian attacks

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“This is not about East and West”, said the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell: “It is not a remake of the Cold War, we are defending the sovereignty of nations, of all States. It is not a return to the two hemispheres. We defend international law, not violating borders, this applies to anyone in the world. We are not against the Russian people. It is Putin’s war.”

“There may be more sanctions, more banks unhooked from Swift”, for example, Borrell said, “we can move forward on financial sanctions. But today the important thing is that Russia has declared suspension of payments on some loans. This is an important consequence in four days. The decision to block the Central Bank of Russia has many consequences. More sanctions are being studied, but the important thing is to apply what we have announced before approving others.”

“We have approved sanctions in record time”, said the head of the Community Executive: “The Russian Central Bank cannot defend the ruble, which is in free fall, the country is suffering from an escalation of inflation, important banks are disconnected from Swift , the Stock Exchange is still closed, Western companies are withdrawing from the Russian market… The European Commission has managed to agree on up to 40 countries, in a clear message that the international community is rejecting this invasion”.

Von der Leyen recalled the vote in the UN assembly –141 countries condemned the invasion and only four voted with Russia–: “Putin is isolated, but the army continues, with missiles, and civilians die, the scale of the catastrophe worries, because nothing like it has been seen since the darkest days of World War II.

The president of the European Commission has considered that “this conflict is far from over”. “We will take further action if Putin does not withdraw.”

The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has explained how the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dimitri Kuleba, has shown them photos of a father with his dead son: “It is a reminder that this has to do with men, women, children , and also with skipping established principles, such as that there is an international system in which peace and security must govern, that no country can dictate the policies of another, or cross its borders. These are principles that are being violated by Putin. Yes we allow impunity, we will allow this to happen again and again”.

Blinken has also seconded Von der Leyen’s hypothesis regarding the duration of the crisis: “This is not going to end soon, but we have to continue together until the end, until the war ends.”

“The humanitarian situation is getting worse day by day”, said the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, after the meeting with the EU foreign ministers: “There may be more than a million people who have already left Ukraine, and more will come out. The Red Cross cannot enter the country, and we need humanitarian corridors.”

Borrell spoke of the attack on the nuclear power plant on Thursday night: “A humanitarian and ecological catastrophe could occur throughout Europe. We ask Russia to stop the operation and withdraw from Ukraine.”

Both Borrell, Blinken and Von der Leyen have highlighted transatlantic cooperation in the sanctions against Russia: “They must be applied and we hope that they will weaken Russia. Putin has tried to divide us, but we are more united than ever. Russia is completely isolated from the community as was seen on Thursday at the UN Assembly. The world stands with Ukraine, on the right side of history.”

“The sanctions do not seek a regime change in Russia, they have been activated by the war and seek to strengthen Ukraine’s negotiating positions, no regime change in Russia. It is Putin’s war because it is not the Russians’ war, but We are not going into the matter of changing the regime,” said Borrell, who has also ruled out asking the Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski, to leave Kiev.

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