European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen today presented the sixth package of sanctions against Russia.
First, the EU is listing high-ranking military officers and other individuals who committed war crimes in Bucha and who are responsible for the inhuman siege of the city of Mariupol. “This sends another important signal to all perpetrators of the Kremlin’s war: we know who you are, and you will be held accountable,” said Ursula von der Leyen.
Second, the EU is to de-SWIFT Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, and two other major banks. These banks are systemically critical to the Russian financial system and Putin’s ability to wage destruction, according to the European Commission. “This will solidify the complete isolation of the Russian financial sector from the global system,” the President said.
Third, the EU is banning three big Russian state-owned broadcasters from the EU airwaves. They will not be allowed to distribute their content any more in the EU, in whatever shape or form, be it on cable, via satellite, on the internet or via smartphone apps.
“We have identified these TV channels as mouthpieces that amplify Putin’s lies and propaganda aggressively. We should not give them a stage anymore to spread these lies,” stated von der Leyen. “Moreover, the Kremlin relies on accountants, consultants and spin-doctors from Europe. And this will now stop. We are banning those services from being provided to Russian companies.”
The European Commission is also proposing a ban on Russian oil. This will be a complete import ban on all Russian oil, seaborne and pipeline, crude and refined. The EU will make sure that it phases out Russian oil in an orderly fashion in a way that allows the EU and its partners to secure alternative supply routes and minimises the impact on global markets.
“This is why we will phase out Russian supply of crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of the year. Thus, we maximise pressure on Russia, while at the same time minimising collateral damage to us and our partners around the globe,” said von der Leyen.
The President said that all these steps aim to deprive the Russian economy from its ability to diversify and modernise. “Putin wanted to wipe Ukraine from the map. He will clearly not succeed. On the contrary: Ukraine has risen up in unity. And it is his own country, Russia, he is sinking,” concluded the President.
She noted that the “EU wants Ukraine to win this war” and will help Ukrainians rebuild their country for the next generation. That is why the European Commission is also proposing to start working on an ambitious recovery package for Ukraine that should bring massive investment to meet the needs and the necessary reforms, address the existing weaknesses of the Ukrainian economy and lay the foundations for sustainable long-term growth.
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