The head of the European Commission called on the EU to speed up the supply of weapons to Kiev
The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen called on the EU member states to urgently provide Ukraine with weapons (both light and heavy) and threatens Russia with new harsh sanctions.
Photo: Global Look Press
The head of the European Commission urged EU member states to “quickly” supply weapons systems to Ukraine and suggested that the next round of EU sanctions could be directed against Sberbank and include an embargo on Russian oil, writes The Guardian.
“This applies to to all Member States: those who can must act quickly, because only in this way can Ukraine survive in a sharp defensive battle against Russia,” Ursula von der Leyen told the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.
As noted by The Guardian, some European countries appear to be hesitant about exporting heavy weapons to Ukraine, such as tanks or fighter jets, amid fears that such a move could formally escalate the armed conflict in Ukraine into a direct clash between Russia and the states. members of NATO.
Ursula Von der Leyen urged European leaders not to delay making decisions on differences in the categories of weapons intended for Kyiv. “I don't distinguish between heavy and light weapons,” she said. “Ukraine should get everything it needs to protect itself and what it can handle.”
In his late-night video message, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Western “partners” to immediately provide more material support, including “all the necessary heavy weapons, aircraft” so that the Ukrainian military could break through the blockade of Mariupol.
Earlier this month, the Czech Republic became the first NATO country to send tanks to Ukraine since the conflict began on February 24. Slovakia followed suit with the supply of S-300 air defense systems, and last Wednesday the US announced that it would supply Ukraine with helicopters, howitzers and other equipment.
Other states, such as Germany, are deadlocked over deliveries to Kiev heavy weapons, arguing that they cannot do so without reducing their commitment to NATO in other regions, or that a common position must first be worked out among members of the Western alliance.
In an official diplomatic note sent to Washington last week, Moscow warned that NATO deliveries of “the most sensitive” weapons systems could lead to “unpredictable consequences,” writes The Guardian.
In an interview with Bild am Sonntag, von der Leyen said that the citizens of Europe should mentally prepare for a long-term military conflict in Ukraine.
“We must do everything so that this ends as soon as possible,” the German politician said, adding that at the same time one should be prepared for the fact that the conflict “could last for months or even years at worst.”
Regarding the sixth EU sanctions package currently being prepared in Brussels, von der Leyen said: “We continue to look at the banking sector, especially Sberbank, which alone accounts for 37% of the Russian banking sector. And, of course, we are dealing with energy issues.”
“Now we are developing smart mechanisms so that the next level of sanctions could include oil,” says Ursula von der Leyen.