Von der Leyen vows to make Kremlin pay over nuclear war threat

China confident they won't be sanctioned by the West says expert

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The EU Commission leader proposed on Wednesday a new package of Russia sanctions, designed “to make the Kremlin pay” for escalating the conflict in Ukraine with what she called “sham” votes in occupied territory. “We do not accept the sham referenda and any kind of annexation in Ukraine, and we are determined to make the Kremlin pay for this further escalation,” she told reporters in Brussels.

The sanctions package will lay the legal basis for an oil price cap and ban EU citizens from sitting on governing bodies of Russian state-owned companies, she said.

The proposal will now go to the bloc’s 27 member countries, which will need to overcome differences on the new sanctions and reach unanimity to implement them.

That may take time despite the EU being spurred into action by Russia’s partial military mobilisation, nuclear threats to the West and moving to annex a swath of Ukraine.

Earlier on Wednesday, a senior economic adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the EU to further cut money flows to Russia from fossil fuel sales.

The G7 group of industrialised countries – where EU countries Italy, France and Germany are also members – already agreed to put such an oil price cap in place via insurers.

“If you are doing nothing it means you are just prolonging this war with Ukraine, this is just ridiculous, the whole civilised world has to be united on that,” Oleg Ustenko told reporters.

While the EU already agreed to stop importing Russian oil starting later this year, Ustenko said the “blood money” would keep on flowing to Moscow unless European companies are banned from insuring seaborne shipments.

More to follow…

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