EU Prepares More Russia Sanctions 02/04 09:23
The European Union will unveil its 10th package of sanctions against Russia
on Feb. 24 to mark the anniversary of Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine,
a senior official from the bloc said in Kyiv on Friday, as Ukrainian forces
gird for an expected Russian offensive in the coming weeks.
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) -- The European Union will unveil its 10th package of
sanctions against Russia on Feb. 24 to mark the anniversary of Moscow's
full-scale invasion of Ukraine, a senior official from the bloc said in Kyiv on
Friday, as Ukrainian forces gird for an expected Russian offensive in the
The sanctions will target technology used by Russia's war machine, among
other things, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told a news
The sanctions will take aim in particular at components used in the
manufacturing of drones, she said, naming Iran as a key supplier of Russia.
Closing loopholes that the Kremlin uses to circumvent sanctions will also be
a priority, according to Von der Leyen, who was on her fourth visit to the
Ukrainian capital since the war began.
The exact measures in the next EU sanctions package must be agreed upon by
the bloc's 27 member countries -- a process that can take weeks.
Top EU officials met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a show
of support for the country as it battles to counter the Kremlin's forces and
strives to join the EU as well as NATO.
The last such summit was held in Kyiv in October 2021 -- a few months before
the war started. The highly symbolic visit is also the first EU political
mission of its kind to a country at war.
The high-level meeting came as a 60-year-old man was killed and six others
were wounded Friday when Russian missiles hit central Toretsk, in Ukraine's
eastern Donetsk region, the local prosecutor's office said in a statement on
Ukrainian authorities reported Friday that at least six civilians were
killed and 20 others were wounded over the previous 24 hours.
Among the dead were two brothers, ages 49 and 42, killed when Russian
shelling destroyed an apartment building in the northeastern Kharkiv region,
Ukraine's presidential office said. Their 70-year-old father was hospitalized
Also, six people were wounded and 18 apartment buildings, two hospitals and
a school were damaged in a Russian attack in the eastern city of Kramatorsk on
Thursday, Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko told Ukrainian TV. Four people died when a
Russian missile hit an apartment building in that city on Wednesday.
European officials were adamant about continuing to support Ukraine
militarily and economically, but they didn't provide any new details about
Ukraine's accession path to the EU.
Zelenskyy said Ukraine's goal "is to start negotiations this year." But the
process will likely take years and require the adoption of far-reaching
reforms, including a clampdown on endemic corruption as the country receives
billions of dollars in aid. Kyiv formally submitted its application last June.
Zelenskyy said progress had been made to further integrate Ukraine
economically into the EU across several sectors, including agriculture,
industry, energy and customs.
Ukraine's government is keen to get more Western military aid, on top of the
tanks pledged last week, as the warring sides are expected to launch new
offensives once winter ends. Kyiv has pushed the West to provide fighter jets
and long-range missiles.
The U.S announced Friday it will send longer-range bombs to Ukraine, along
with air defense systems and other weapons and ammunition as part of a new
$2.17 billion aid package. The rocket-propelled, GPS-guided, ground-launched,
small-diameter bombs (GLSDB) are fired from HIMARS rocket launchers and glide
to targets up to 150 kilometers (93 miles) away, twice as far as the previously
supplied U.S. rockets for HIMARS systems could reach.
Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder noted that the bombs will give
the Ukrainian armed forces a longer range capability and enable them to
"conduct operations in defense of their country and to take back their
Asked to comment on the U.S. move, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov pointed
to Thursday's statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who likened the
Russian action in Ukraine to fighting the Nazis in World War II and issued an
ominous warning to the West for announcing new weapons shipments.
"Those who hope to defeat Russia on the battlefield apparently fail to
understand that a modern war against Russia will be a completely different war
for them," Putin said. "We do not send our tanks to their borders, but we have
something to respond with, and it is not limited to the use of armour."
France and Italy also agreed Friday to supply Ukraine with a SAMP/T-MAMBA
air-defense system, which French officials call the European equivalent of the
Patriot system that the U.S. has given Ukraine. The missile battery is slated
for delivery this spring.
Kyiv's forces "have a chance" of beating back an expected Russian offensive
in eastern Ukraine if supplied with the right Western weapons, Zelenskyy said.
"Our task is not to give them (an) opportunity (for revenge) until our army
is strengthened with appropriate weapons. I think we have a chance," Zelenskyy
Officials in the eastern Luhansk region said Russian forces have disabled
mobile internet connections, stepped up shelling and deployed more troops in
preparation for an offensive.
EU assistance for Ukraine has reached almost 50 billion euros ($55 billion)
since the fighting started, according to officials from the bloc.
The EU is providing Ukraine with financial and humanitarian aid, and
announced it is ramping up its military training mission, from an initial
target of pushing 15,000 troops through the schooling to up to 30,000 troops.
One focus is to train the crews of tanks that Western countries have offered