EU vows ‘strongest, harshest’ sanctions against Russia

The decision comes during an emergency summit in response to Russian military operation in Ukraine

The European Union has announced it is planning the harshest sanctions it has ever implemented against Russia. The decision came during an emergency summit on Thursday over the Russian military operation in Ukraine.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called the events “among the darkest hours of Europe since the Second World War,” and vowed that the EU will respond in the strongest way possible and “agree on the harshest package of sanctions we have ever implemented.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen condemned Moscow’s “unprecedented military aggression” and said that EU countries will discuss and adopt new restrictive measures against Russia and support Ukraine.

We condemn Russia’s unprecedented military aggression against Ukraine.

It must withdraw its military and fully respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

The EU leaders will discuss and swiftly adopt further restrictive measures against Russia.

The EU stands with Ukraine.

— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) February 24, 2022

We condemn this barbaric attack, and the cynical arguments used to justify it”, she stated, adding that the EU “will present a package of massive, targeted sanctions” later on Thursday.

The sanctions will target strategic sectors of Russia’s economy. We will freeze Russian assets in the EU and stop access of Russian banks to our financial market. This is designed to take a heavy toll on the Kremlin’s ability to finance war,” the European Commission President proceeded, describing the forthcoming measures. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he launched the operation to force a demilitarization and “de-Nazification” of Ukraine. He accused the US of arming the country against Russia and ignoring the presence of radical nationalists in the ranks of Ukrainian troops. The decision comes days after Russia recognized the independence of the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) People’s Republics in the Donbass.

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