Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, on April 5 said in a statement that further sanctions will be imposed on Russia for the brutal executions and atrocities committed against civilians in Bucha. These killings came to light when Russian troops left the area, after having occupied it for a period of time.
She stated the one of the planned sanctions is a ban on Russian vessels and Russian-operated vessels from accessing EU ports. However, there will be exemptions on essentials, such as agricultural and food products, humanitarian aid as well as energy. Also, there will be an import ban on coal from Russia, worth EUR 4 billion per year.
Additionally, there will be a ban on Russian and Belarusian road transport operators to limit the options for the Russian industry to obtain key goods.
Other planned sanctions include “a full transaction ban on four key Russian banks, among them VTB, the second largest Russian bank. These four banks, which we now totally cut off from the markets, represent 23% of market share in the Russian banking sector. This will further weaken Russia’s financial system.
“Further targeted export bans, worth EUR 10 billion, in areas in which Russia is vulnerable. This includes, for example, quantum computers and advanced semiconductors, but also sensitive machinery and transportation equipment. With this, we will continue to degrade Russia’s technological base and industrial capacity.
“Specific new import bans, worth EUR 5.5 billion, to cut the money stream of Russia and its oligarchs, on products from wood to cement, from seafood to liquor. In doing this, we also close loopholes between Russia and Belarus.
“We take a number of very targeted measures, such as a general EU ban on participation of Russian companies in public procurement in Member States, or an exclusion of all financial support, be it European or national, to Russian public bodies. Because European tax money should not go to Russia in whatever shape or form.”
She said “these atrocities cannot and will not be left unanswered” and that “the perpetrators of these heinous crimes must not go unpunished.” The EU has set up a Joint Investigation Team with Ukraine to collect evidence and investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine.
“Russia is waging a cruel and ruthless war, not only against Ukraine’s brave troops, but also against its civilian population. It is important to sustain utmost pressure on Putin and the Russian government at this critical point.”
Photo credit: European Commission. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.