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Ukraine. Head of the European Commission in the European Parliament: a year ago war returned to Europe

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A year after Russia invaded Ukraine, Vladimir Putin’s perfidious plans continue to be thwarted by the brave Ukrainian people, said Ursula von der Leyen during a debate in the European Parliament. The head of the European Commission announced that the tenth package of EU sanctions against Russia will contain restrictions on trade and technology exports worth EUR 11 billion. – This spring and this summer the war will be at a decisive stage. We have been debating for too long, said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

We’re weakening the ability Russia to maintain her war machine. Our tenth package of sanctions includes trade bans and technology export controls worth €11 billion, said Ursula von der Leyen during a debate summarizing the situation one year after Russia invaded Ukraine in the European Parliament. This package was announced by the head of the European Commission at the beginning of January, but still has not been adopted.

The president of the Commission also said that Russia is using hundreds of Iranian drones on the battlefields in Ukraine. – These Iranian drones are killing Ukrainian civilians. It’s cruel. Therefore, for the first time, we are also proposing to impose sanctions on Iranian entities, including those associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. It is our duty to impose sanctions on them.

Ursula von der LeyenPAP/EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

Von der Leyen also reminded about the upcoming anniversary Russia’s attack on Ukraine. – Almost a year ago, on the night of February 24, Russia attacked Ukraine and the war returned to Europe. That night our thoughts and prayers were with our Ukrainian friends. We followed the news from Donbass and Kiev in suspense. Will they be able to resist the onslaught of the Russian invaders? Today we know it is. A year later, Putin’s perfidious plans continue to be thwarted by the brave Ukrainian people, she said.

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– A year later, this parliament welcomed the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, as the true hero that he is. (…) In the early morning of February 24, when Russian tanks entered Ukraine, the whole continent held its breath. Some predicted that Ukraine would collapse in a matter of days. But instead, the legendary courage of the Ukrainian people shocked the world, stressed Ursula von der Leyen.

Borrell: We’ve been debating too long

Head of EU diplomacy Josep Borrell during the debate in Strasbourg, he spoke about military support for Kiev. – If we summarize what we gave Ukraine from the European Peace Facility, with bilateral assistance European Union countrieswe reach a level of approximately EUR 12 billion,’ he stressed.

The chief of EU diplomacy added that military support for Ukraine must be even greater. We not only need to continue them, we need to strengthen them. I appeal to countries that have modern tanks, which are now dusty and not used, to hand them over to Ukraine as soon as possible, he said.


– This spring and this summer the war will be at a decisive stage. We debated for too long whether to hand over the Leopards to Ukraine. Russia at that time was preparing an offensive. We have been debating for too long about decisions that should have been made sooner.

During his speech, Borrell also emphasized that Europe is no longer dependent on Russia. – This is one of our great successes. We managed to reduce our economic and energy dependence on Russia to almost zero, he said.

Russia is paying a very high price for this war. They have lost their main energy customer, that is us – he said. He compared the sanctions to arsenic, which “doesn’t work immediately, it works slowly – but it works, and in an irreversible way.”

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

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