EU leaders consider new sanctions against Russia’s ‘surprise’

EU Summit in Brussels
Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa, European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attend the meeting between EU leaders and the government of the “Eastern Partnership”, a group of six neighboring countries including Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, during the Europe Summit at the Council of Europe building in Brussels, Belgium December 15, 2021. Stephanie Lecocq / Pool via REUTERS

December 16, 2021

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders will consider on Thursday what economic sanctions they can impose on Russia if Moscow launches a fresh offensive on Ukraine, the Prime Minister said. Slovenia said, warning that the bloc was prepared for Russian “surprises”.

Ukraine is currently the main focal point between Russia and the West. The United States says Russia has concentrated more than 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border, possibly in preparation for an invasion. Moscow says its actions are purely defensive in nature and accuses Kyiv and the West of provocative behavior.

“I’m worried because the military concentration, especially on Ukraine’s border with Russia (is) very strong,” Prime Minister Janez Jansa, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, said upon his arrival. attend the summit one day.

“And so there is no doubt that Russia is using military force to pressure… we were prepared to avoid such surprises that we encountered during the occupation of Crimea,” he said. said, referring to Russia’s occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula in 2014.

At that time, the EU along with the United States imposed economic sanctions on Russia, targeting the country’s energy, banking and defense sectors in response.

Jansa declined to give details on what new sanctions might be, but he said hitting the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany to prevent it from becoming operational was also an option.

“It is possible that we receive some additional information about the final decision… of Nord Stream 2,” he said.

(Reporting by Robin Emmott, Sabine Siebold, Kate Abnett, Jan Strupczewski; Editing by John Chalmers) EU leaders consider new sanctions against Russia’s ‘surprise’


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