EU comes forward with new sanctions against Belarus and Iran

10 January, 05:15 PM
Ursula von der Leyen said that the European Union will continue the sanctions pressure against the Russian Federation and its supporters (Photo:Johanna Geron/Reuters)

Ursula von der Leyen said that the European Union will continue the sanctions pressure against the Russian Federation and its supporters (Photo:Johanna Geron/Reuters)

The EU intends to extend sanctions on Belarus and Iran for their military support of Russia’s full-scale war in Ukraine, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said at a briefing in Brussels on Jan. 10.

"The European Union will keep doing everything in its power to support the brave people of Ukraine,” she said.

“We will keep the pressure on the Kremlin as long as it takes with a biting sanctions regime.”

Von der Leyen made it clear that sanctions will be extended to those who militarily support Russia's war, namely Belarus and Iran.

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"And we will be coming forward with new sanctions against Belarus, answering Belarus' role in this Russian war in Ukraine," she concluded.

Belarusian dictator Alexandr Lukashenko has allowed invading Russian forces to make free use of Belarusian territory, prior the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. From Belarus, Russian invasion forces advanced on northern Ukraine, and Kyiv in particular. Russian forces continues to use Belarusian territory to launch missile and drone attacks against Ukrainian cities and critical infrastructure.

Earlier, the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian army, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, said that the enemy may potentially launch a new offensive from Belarusian territory in the direction of Kyiv, though Ukrainian intelligence stated that no buildup indicating such an assault has yet been reported.

Iran also supports Russia with weapons, notably with suicide drones used against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. Russia has received hundreds of Mohajer-6, Shahed-129, and Shahed-191 attack drones from Iran. According to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Russia has so far received 2,400 drones from Tehran.

As the Associated Press reported, in November, Iran’s foreign minister acknowledged for the first time that Tehran had supplied Russia with drones. But he insisted that the transfer came before the beginning of Moscow's full-scale war against Ukraine.

The United States has pushed back against these claims, insisting that the drones were supplied in summer 2022. Iran is also believed to have sent military specialists to the occupied Ukrainian territories to assist Russian troops.

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