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EU sanctions on Russia open new chapter in the bloc history

PoliticsEU sanctions on Russia open new chapter in the bloc history

Brussels (The Times Groupe)- European Union sanctions against Russia opened a new chapter in Europe’s history when economic power battled a military force, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday.

In a speech to the Cercle d’Economia in Barcelona, Spain, where Ursula von der Leyen received the European Construction Award, she stated: “Russian President Vladimir Putin has mobilized his armed forces to wipe Ukraine off the map.”. Our unique economic power has been mobilized to defend Ukraine.”

In her words, Von der Leyen said that the EU’s action opened a “new chapter” in the EU’s history because it used its economic power to fight military aggression and defend our most cherished European values.

Additionally, she emphasized that all the measures were taken for “the people of Ukraine” and their right “to write their own country’s future.”

“Ultimately, it is also about our democracy, our freedom to follow the rule of law and reject the right of might, and our wish to live in peace, in a continent that is finally united,” she concluded.

Von der Leyen presented on Wednesday the European Commission’s proposal regarding the sixth round of sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine.

As part of the new package, oil imports from Russia would be banned, Sberbank would be suspended from the SWIFT system, and new individuals – including the head of the Russian Orthodox Church – would be hit with asset freezes and travel restrictions.

Several countries that rely heavily on Russian fossil fuels have expressed concerns about the proposal, including Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.

Since February 24, the EU has allocated €1.5 billion in military support to Ukraine and mobilized over €4 billion in macrofinancial assistance, humanitarian aid, and support for EU countries hosting refugees from Ukraine.

It has also imposed five sets of sanctions, targeting individuals such as President Putin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, oligarchs, and military officers, as well as banning the export of luxury goods and the import of coal, and excluding Russian and Belarusian banks from SWIFT.

The European Commission announced in March that it would reduce dependence on Russian energy and reduce gas imports by two-thirds by the end of this year by replacing them with other sources from East Africa and the United States, while accelerating the transition to green energy.

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