According to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, new sanctions against Russia that are being prepared for adoption at an emergency EU summit later Thursday will ‘weaken Russia’s economic base and capacity to modernize.’
Russia faces “unprecedented isolation” as a result of its attack on Ukraine, and will face the “harshest sanctions” the EU has ever imposed, according to the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, on Thursday.
“This is not a question of blocs. This is not a question of diplomatic power games. It’s a matter of life and death. It is about the future of our global community,” he said in a broadcast statement.
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, next to him, said new sanctions against Russia prepared for adoption at an emergency EU summit later Thursday “will weaken Russia’s economic base and its capacity to modernise”.
She stated that the “massive” sanctions “will target strategic sectors of the Russian economy by preventing access to key technologies and markets,” as well as “freeze Russian assets in the EU and prevent Russian banks from accessing the European financial market.”
The new sanctions, like the first round imposed on Wednesday as Russian President Vladimir Putin prepared to launch his attack, will be coordinated with the EU’s partners and allies, she said.
“These sanctions are designed to take a heavy toll on the Kremlin’s interests and on their ability to finance the war.”
She claimed that Russian forces have “invaded Ukraine,” crossing a line that the West had warned would result in severe sanctions.
Russia was not only targeting Ukraine, she claimed. “The target is the stability in Europe and the whole of the international peace order. And we will hold President Putin accountable for that.”
“These are among the darkest hours for Europe since the end of World War 2,” said Borrell.
He stated that Russia’s attack on its pro-Western neighbor- a major nuclear power- “is not only the greatest violation of international law, its a violation of the basic principles of human coexistence.”
He stated that the summit on Thursday “will agree and provide political guidance to adopt the strongest package – the harshest package of sanctions we have ever implemented.”
He went on to say that the EU was preparing emergency aid for Ukraine and assisting with evacuation operations from the country, “including our own staff in zones affected by this Russian attack.”
Both Borrell and von der Leyen emphasised that the European Union stood with the people of Ukraine.