EU draws up 11B-euro sanction package as Russia invasion nears year mark
Strasbourg, France, Feb 15 (EFE).- The European Union on Wednesday announced a 10th package of sanctions against Russia worth 11 billion euros as the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine approaches.
The measures include restrictions on the export of “multiple electronic components” used in Russia’s weapons systems, such as drones, missiles and helicopters, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen told European lawmakers.
The fresh package of sanctions also targets around 140 individuals — including members of the Russian military and those deemed responsible for the crimes being committed in Ukraine — and some 30 Russian companies, Efe has learned.
“We are weakening Russia’s ability to maintain its war machine,” von der Leyen said. “Our 10th sanction package contains trade bans and controls on technology exports worth 11 billion euros.”
The EU sanctions will also hit Iranian companies accused of supplying drones to Moscow.
EU ambassadors are to discuss the package of sanctions later on Wednesday in Brussels with a view to adopt the measures next week.
“Putin assumed that our support for Ukraine would not last. He thought it would be easy to hold Europe to ransom, because of our dependence on Russian oil and gas,” von der Leyen said. “But he was wrong there, too. Today, one year after the war began, he has already lost the energy war he started.”
According to the president, Russia’s European gas revenues have been slashed by two-thirds as a result of sanctions, and the oil price cap that the EU has agreed with G7 countries has meant that Russia is losing 160 million euros every day.
Von der Leyen championed the EU’s response to the energy crunch saying the bloc was now “investing in clean energies and energy independence as never before.”
She added that against previous forecasts the economy across the bloc was performing better than expected with upward revisions to the EUs growth predictions.
“By contrast, the Kremlin is having to sell gold reserves in order to plug the gaps left by the lack of oil revenue. Putin’s attempt to blackmail Europe using energy has been an abject failure,” von der Leyen said. EFE