New sanctions to respond to the decision of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, to call referendums in the Donbas republics and to mobilize 300,000 reservists for the war in Ukraine. It is the reaction of the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who has said the following to CNN: “We are prepared to impose new economic costs on Russia, and on the people and entities inside and outside Russia that provide support, politically or economically. In addition, we will propose [a los Estados miembros] new export controls on civilian technology as Russia moves toward a full war economy.”
“President Putin is showing his weakness,” says von der Leyen: “He tries to mobilize personnel who are less trained, less experienced, less motivated. And he wants to start fake referendums on sovereign Ukrainian soil. I think this requires sanctions on our part again.”
It would be the eighth round of sanctions by the European Union on Ukraine, something that the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, and the 27 EU foreign ministers in New York, where they are all for the United Nations General Assembly.
“We already said that in the event of holding this type of referendum, in the event of annexation, new sanctions would come”, said Borrell before meeting with the European ministers: “I will start by proposing what to do with the sanctions. And we will reinforce our reach to all the States of the world to share with them our strong concern about this situation”.
According to Borrell, “world peace is in danger.” And he adds: “The risk of a nuclear accident is not negligible. Europe’s largest nuclear power plant is being bombed on its immediate perimeter. And the International Atomic Energy Agency tells us that it is operating in alarmingly precarious conditions. You don’t have to be alarmist, but you have to be aware of the risks. And now Putin tells us that he is ready to use all the weapons at his disposal. And when someone says that it is because in ‘all’ they include nuclear weapons. It is an enormous irresponsibility and something completely unacceptable for the international community. The ministers are going to discuss the European reaction, which I cannot anticipate because my colleagues would not be very satisfied. But we are certainly going to insist on the measures we have taken of military support, economic pressure with sanctions on Russia and international diplomatic action.”
Borrell, in any case, has affirmed that Europe is not at war: “From the beginning we have said that we are not belligerents, that we are not at war. One thing is to give military support and another thing is to enter directly into the war. It is not the case, and it will not be the case. We are not participating in the war. We are not belligerent. We are only supporting Ukraine. The recipe is more of the same: military support, economic and individual sanctions and diplomatic rapprochement with the rest of the world”.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has also assured from New York in an interview with Reuters: “We will make sure that there are no misunderstandings in Moscow about the seriousness of the use of nuclear weapons… And that is the reason why that we have been so clear in our communications with Russia about the unprecedented consequences, about the fact that Russia cannot win a nuclear war.”
“We are prepared for a tough winter”, said the Norwegian: “Winter is coming, it will be difficult for all of us. But the answer is not to give up and stop supporting Ukraine. The answer, in any case, is to take a step forward and continue to support Ukraine.”