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Ukraine War: EU slams fresh sanctions on Russia

*The members of the European Union have agreed to new sanctions on Russia, while most G-20 countries strongly condemn the war in Ukraine, stressing the war is ‘causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy’

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The European Union (EU) Saturday, February 25, 2023, agreed to impose new sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

The EU, in a statement issued noted the fresh sanctions “are directed at military and political decision-makers, companies supporting or working within the Russian military industry, and commanders in the Wagner Group.”

Besides, the EU sanctions also prohibit transactions with three more Russian banks and hit Iran, restricting exports by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps of drones used in attacks against civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.

How EU members vote for sanctions on Russia

The fresh measures announced Saturday were adopted after much internal disagreement over their exact makeup and made public a day after the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — the intended target date, VOA report said.

In its intelligence update Saturday, the British Defence Ministry said Russia had likely depleted its supply of Iranian one-way-attack uncrewed aerial vehicles or OWA-UAVs.

It was learnt the ministry said there had not been any reports of the vehicles being used in Ukraine “since around” February 15, while at least 24 were reported downed between late January and early February this year.

The Ministry also said: “Scores were destroyed in the first few days of the year.”

Ukrainian and Western officials also have said that Western sanctions are hampering Russia’s ability to replenish its stocks of guided weapons that rely on imported microchips.

Russian official responds

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, now Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council, responding to that report, said Moscow has increased military production “by tens of times” at some factories and was closely studying weapons fired into Russian-held areas from the Ukrainian side in an effort to gain an advantage.

An article published Saturday in the National Defense magazine noted: “We are not just expanding production, but also introducing the latest technologies, perfecting them literally ‘on the march.

“It was funny to hear the Kyiv fantasists reasoning that ‘missiles ran out’ in Russia or ‘production stopped.”

In a video speech Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as well warned that Russia must be prevented “from turning Ukraine, our neighbors, and the whole of Europe, which Russian revanchism wants to reach, into concrete crumbs.”

The Ukrainian leader also pushed for more sanctions pressure on Russia after Britain, the US and the European Union all announced new measures aimed at further choking off funding and support for Moscow.

Financial leaders condemn Moscow

During the G-20 summit in Bangaluru, India, Saturday, finance chiefs of the world’s largest economies condemned Moscow for its war on Ukraine, with only China and Russia declining to sign a joint statement in this regard.

With no consensus, India, which holds the G-20 presidency this year, said in what is called a “chair’s summary” that “most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine, and stressed that it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy.”

Stating that it is essential to uphold international law, the summary said that “the use of or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible.

“The peaceful resolution of conflicts, efforts to address crises, as well as diplomacy and dialogue are vital. Today’s era must not be of war.”

The declaration noted that references to the war were “agreed to by all member countries except Russia and China.”

US commits $2billion more to Ukraine

Earlier Friday, a year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States’ White House announced that the Pentagon would commit $2billion more in military assistance to Ukraine’s defense against Russia.

The package includes additional ammunition for HIMARS, or High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, 155 mm artillery rounds, munitions for laser-guided rocket systems, and funding for training, maintenance, and sustainment of equipment.

President Joe Biden reasserted his vow that “Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia.”

Zelenskyy has been pressing the US and allies for fighter jets, but White House officials have said they are not the weaponry that Ukrainians need in the near term.

Impacts of sanctions on

Russia’s struggle for weaponry

President Joe Biden during an ABC News interview Friday, said: “There is no basis on which there is a rationale, according to our military now, to provide F-16s.

“I am ruling it out for now.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed the US commitment to supporting Ukraine’s infrastructure.

Blinken said the State Department in coordination with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Treasury Department are offering $10 billion in assistance, including budgetary support to Ukraine and additional energy assistance to support Ukrainians suffering from Russia’s attacks.

The Treasury Department said it is sanctioning Russia’s metals and mining sector among others.

The action, taken in coordination with the G-7 leading industrial nations, seeks to punish 250 people and firms, puts financial blocks on banks, arms dealers and technology companies tied to weapons production, and goes after alleged sanctions evaders in countries from the United Arab Emirates to Switzerland.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also said: “Our sanctions have had both short-term and long-term impact, seen acutely in Russia’s struggle to replenish its weapons and in its isolated economy.”

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