War in Ukraine: The EU is now preparing a series of major sanctions

Posted on February 24th. 2022 10:41Updated February 24th. 2022 6:30 pm

In the face of Russia’s massive and already deadly invasion of Ukraine, the situation was very solemn in Brussels on Thursday. “Russian leaders will have to face unprecedented isolation,” said Josep Borrell, European Union Foreign Minister, this Thursday morning.

On his side, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Vladimir Putin had ruined decades of peace in Europe, contrary to what the Russians wanted. Blame. “We know that millions of Russians don’t want war,” said the former German defense minister.

Tonight, 27 heads of state and the government will meet in Brussels to discuss a new set of sanctions. They should be much tougher than what the Foreign Minister verified earlier in the week after the independence of the separatist region of eastern Ukraine was granted. According to diplomats, this special summit must be held “in a very emotional atmosphere and in unprecedented circumstances.”

The new sanctions are expected to have a serious impact on the Russian economy by increasing the cost of borrowing from Russian public institutions and making it more difficult to refinance Russian debt.

High tech material

“These sanctions […] It will intensify capital outflows and gradually weaken Russia’s industrial base. […] Our measures will weaken Russia’s technological position in the major areas where the elite make most of their money. This ranges from high-tech components to cutting-edge software, “said a senior European executive.

One of the issues to decide is to disconnect Russia from the Swift international financial transaction messaging system. New sanctions against Belarus are also being considered, and an attack on Ukraine launched on Thursday.

Expected counter-sanctions

There must still be a problem with the visa system to the EU, but it was no longer recognized by certain Russians. Moscow has already announced counter-sanctions. The Russian Foreign Ministry warned that “we will take strict retaliation measures in accordance with the principle of reciprocity, which is the basis of international law.”

In response to the independence of the separatist territory of eastern Ukraine on Monday, the first measures came into force against Moscow on Wednesday night. But they were relatively benign.

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The European Commission has been working on the details of sanctions for weeks by calculating the predictable economic effects of each member country. Tonight’s discussion should not yet focus on the potential for compensation in a particular country. Finland, the Baltic States and Poland are expected to be the most affected.

Secretary of the Interior Ilva Johansson visited Warsaw on Monday to discuss preparations to welcome the wave of Ukrainian refugees with the Polish government, but 27 should not yet discuss distribution plans, but problems could arise soon. be. ..

Acceptance of Ukrainian refugees

“Because all member states are at the forefront, we have clearly defined an emergency response plan for the immediate acceptance and containment of refugees from Ukraine,” said Ursula von der Reyen.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda signed a state of emergency on his territory on Thursday. According to Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingridashimonite, this regime gives authorities more flexibility to “respond to infrastructure and cybersecurity emergencies.”

Bank supervisor

The European Central Bank said Thursday that it “is closely monitoring the impact of the situation in Ukraine.” Financial institutions want to assess their impact on the European economy, and banking regulators have already been interested in the consequences of the crisis of the major banks under their supervision for several days. The previously timid British government has joined Western sanctions.