Zelensky calls for ‘preventative’ sanctions against Russia
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a visit to Brussels on Dec. 15 urged the international community to impose additional “preventative” sanctions against Russia, saying this would deter Moscow from further escalating tensions on the Russia-Ukraine border.
“Regarding sanctions: some leaders suggest they should be ramped up in case Russia escalates the conflict further,” Zelensky told reporters in Brussels.
“We hope to impress upon our European partners that additional sanctions would hardly do any good after the fact,” Zelensky said.
“We’re looking for a robust sanctions regime as a preventive measure – that way we could avoid further escalation altogether.”
The president added that he had been “firm” on this subject, and that his arguments were “persuasive”.
In early December Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said some 100,000 Russian troops had massed next to Ukraine’s borders. According to him, these troops are on high alert, and an invasion is possible.
Officials in the U.S. and Europe have said they remain concerned about the tensions on the eastern border of Ukraine.
However, major European countries, including Germany, have been reluctant to spell out which specific sanctions would come as response to any possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, Bloomberg reports.
Germany has previously blocked shipments of defensive weapons to Ukraine from NATO countries, President Zelensky claimed on Dec. 14.
Some German media reported that former German Chancellor Angela Merkel had personally opposed the provision of defensive weapons to Ukraine since last spring.
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