Feb 8, 2023
Scholz Says Russia Faces New EU Sanctions on War’s One-Year Mark
(Bloomberg) -- German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the European Union will impose a new round of sanctions against Russia this month to mark the one-year anniversary of President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The tougher measures will provide “a clear signal to Putin that he is not succeeding with his imperialist plans,” Scholz told German lawmakers on Wednesday. He didn’t provide details of the measures to punish Russia, which launched its full-scale attack on Ukraine on Feb. 24 last year.
Germany is in a better position to target Moscow than it was a year ago. Europe’s largest economy, which received more than half of its natural gas needs from Russia before the war, is opening facilities to import the fuel from other countries and its storage facilities are still 77% full, all but eliminating risks of shortages this winter.
“Germany and Europe are setting the right course,” he said before a summit in Brussels. “Wholesale energy prices are now back at their pre-war levels, and in some cases even below them.”
The EU’s current proposal for what would be its 10th round of sanctions is likely to expand sanctions on Russia’s drone sector and add restrictions on goods used by its military-industrial complex, people familiar with the plans have said.
Scholz and his EU counterparts will gather in Brussels on Thursday with Russia’s war on Ukraine and the bloc’s support for the government in Kyiv top of the agenda. Other topics include the economic situation and short-term measures that could help European companies stay competitive in the face of new global challenges, as well as migration.
Germany has stepped up its supply of weapons to Ukraine, spearheading an initiative that could send as many as 178 older-generation Leopard tanks as well as dozens of modern versions to Kyiv in the coming months. Scholz called on allies to stick together, saying that any signs of dissension play into Putin’s hands.
“What is detrimental to our unity is a public competition to outdo each other along the lines of: battle tanks, submarines, aircraft - who is asking for more?” Scholz said in the Bundestag in Berlin. “Any dissonance, any speculation about possible differences of interest only benefits Putin and his propaganda.”
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