By Agnes Szucs
BRUSSELS (AA) – The EU will impose new sanctions on Russia on the first anniversary of the war against Ukraine, the president of the European Commission said on Thursday.
“We will introduce with our G7 partners an additional price cap on Russian petroleum products. By Feb. 24, exactly one year since the invasion started, we aim to have the 10th package of sanctions in place,” Ursula von der Leyen said at a joint news conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksyy in Kyiv.
She explained that Russia has already been paying a “heavy price” for its war on Ukraine since only the current price cap on oil export costs Moscow €160 million ($176 million) according to the EU’s estimates.
Von der Leyen and 15 members of the European Commission traveled on Thursday to Ukraine’s capital Kyiv to hold talks with the government ahead of the EU-Ukraine Summit.
The summit will take place on Friday with the participation of Von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, and Zelenskyy.
“Our presence in Ukraine today gives a very clear signal. The whole of the European Union is in this with Ukraine for the long haul,” von der Leyen said.
“We will stand up for Ukraine as we stand up for the fundamental rights and the respect of the international law,” she asserted.
Von der Leyen also reassured Ukraine of the bloc’s support for “fast recovery” and reconstructing the country after the war.
Since the beginning of Russia’s war against Ukraine on Feb. 24 last year, the EU and its member states have provided €50 billion in direct support to Ukraine, including more than €12 billion in military aid.
The EU has imposed nine sanctions packages against Russia, targeting, among others, President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, banning gold, oil and coal imports, and the export of luxury goods and high-tech technology, as well as excluding Russian and Belarusian banks from the SWIFT international payment system.