European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced Thursday that the European Union is preparing a “determined and united response” to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which includes plans for sanctions aimed at restricting the country’s access to technologies and crippling the Russian economy.
During a joint news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and European Council President Charles Michel, von der Leyen said later Thursday she will “present a package of massive and targeted sanctions” to leaders of European nations.
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“This package will include financial sanctions that harshly limit Russia’s access to the capital markets. These sanctions will have a heavy impact. Russia’s economy has already faced intensive pressure in the recent weeks and these pressures will now accumulate,” von der Leyen said.
She went on to describe how the sanctions package “will suppress Russia’s economic growth, increase the borrowing costs, raise inflation, intensify capital outflow and gradually erode its industrial basis.”
Von der Leyen then explained how another aspect of the planned sanctions deal with “limiting Russia’s access to crucial technology.”
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“We want to cut off Russia’s industry from the technologies desperately needed today to build a future,” she said, describing how the goal is to “weaken Russia’s technology composition in key areas,” particularly those areas “in which the elite makes most of their money.”
Those technologies, she said, include “high-tech components” and “cutting-edge software.”
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Von der Leyen said the sanctions will “seriously degrade the Russian economy in all areas in the future,” and that Russian President Vladimir Putin “will have to explain this to his citizens,” who she believes do not want to be at war.
“It is our shared duty to stand up to the gravest act of aggression on European soil in decades,” von der Leyen said, adding that Europe is “hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst.”
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The European Commission president also said there are plans to provide additional financial support to Ukraine and that European countries are ready to take in Ukrainian refugees.