Zelenski insists on tough sanctions to stop Russia 'restoring' capabilities

The European leadership has moved to Kiev and applied new sanctions against Moscow on the eve of a new phase of the war

PHOTO/ Oficina de Prensa de la Presidencia ucraniana vía AP  -   Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU and Ukrainian officials at the EU-Ukraine summit in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023

The Ukrainian president, Volodymir Zelenski, insisted today on the need to adopt "new and tougher" sanctions against Russia, given the danger that this "terrorist state" will manage to restore its "production capacities" and defences.

"We have all the facts to prove that it is a terrorist state," the Ukrainian leader said in a joint appearance with the presidents of the European Commission (EC) and the European Council, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, at the end of the EU-Ukraine summit in Kiev.

The implementation of a tenth package of sanctions against Russia was already discussed at the preliminary meeting held on Thursday, attended by 15 European Commissioners.

AFP/SERGEI SUPINSKY - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen shake hands after a joint press conference following talks in Kiev on 2 February 2023

Von der Leyen said yesterday that a new package would be adopted to coincide with the anniversary of the start of the Russian invasion on 24 February.

Zelenski went on to list some of the war crimes that both Ukraine and international experts are investigating on the ground, as well as the successive "attrition" offensives by Russian troops in different parts of the country.

The Ukrainian president and Von der Leyen insisted, both yesterday and at the close of Friday's summit, that Russia will pay "a heavy price" for the invasion, although according to Kiev the impact of these measures on Moscow is "diminishing", as it has managed to "adapt" to mitigate their effects.

AP/EFREM LUKATSKY - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel address the media after the EU-Ukraine summit in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 3, 2023.

The EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, had indicated before arriving in Kiev that this new round of restrictive measures will attempt to make it even more difficult for Russia to gain access to technological components.

The aim would be to close off spaces for Moscow to take advantage of in order to obtain these components, which are already in short supply due to previous sanctions, and which it needs to use them in equipment such as drones and warplanes.