Russia attacks a city in eastern Ukraine for the second time in a few hours

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, center right, receives European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, center left, before a summit in Kyiv, Ukraine, on February 2. (Photo: Press Service of the President of Ukraine/Reuters)

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday called for more punitive measures against Russia from the European Union, saying he had discussed a tenth package of EU sanctions with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

“And now the pace of sanctions has somehow slowed down in Europe, and the terrorist state, on the contrary, is adapting to sanctions, and we have to catch up. We have to correct this,” Zelensky said, speaking together with the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who is in Kyiv on an official visit together with the bloc’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, and other officials.

“This is a common European task – to reduce Russia’s ability to circumvent sanctions. And the sooner this task is accomplished, the closer we will be to defeating the Russian Federation,” he added.

“It is not enough to succeed on the battlefield. We need faith in a free Europe, in a peaceful Europe, in a united Europe,” he also said.

“We are doing that [el presidente ruso Vladimir] Putin pay for his heinous war,” von der Leyen said, speaking after Zelensky.

“Before Russia started this war, we were very clear about the serious economic costs that [impondríamos] to Russia if it invaded the Ukraine. And today Russia is paying a heavy price, as our sanctions are eroding her economy, setting it back a generation. Limiting the price of crude oil already costs Russia about 160 million euros (US$176 million) a day and we will continue to increase the pressure,” he stated.

“Europe has been by Ukraine’s side since day one, because we know that the future of our continent is being written here. We know that you are fighting for more than just yourselves. What is at stake is freedom. It is a fight of democracies against authoritarian regimes”, added the president of the European Commission.

Russian President Vladimir Putin “attempts to deny the existence of Ukraine, but what he risks instead is the future of Russia,” von der Leyen warned.

Previous EU sanctions: In December, the European Union applied its ninth sanctions package against Russia, adding nearly 200 individuals and entities to its sanctions list. It included the armed forces, members of the Russian Parliament and defense industrial companies.

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