‘Russia’s bankruptcy is just a matter of time’, says EU chief

Von der Leyen says new sanctions package against the country should hit oil sector and banks

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said this Sunday (17.Apr.2022) that the bankruptcy of the Russian State is just a “a matter of time” due to sanctions imposed by the West after Vladimir Putin’s regime invaded Ukraine.

“The bankruptcy of the Russian state is just a matter of time”Von der Leyen told the Sunday edition of the German newspaper Bild.

Von der Leyen said sanctions are increasingly affecting the Russian economy, “week after week”and that the “exports of goods to Russia fell by 70%”.

“Hundreds of large companies and thousands of specialists have left the country. GDP in Russia, according to current forecasts, will decrease by 11%”said German policy.

The EU is currently working on a sixth package of sanctions against Russia. According to von de Leyen, the new round should hit Russian banks that had been spared and the lucrative oil sector controlled by Moscow.

“We continue to look at the banking sector, especially Sberbank, which alone represents 37% of the Russian banking sector. And of course we are dealing with energy issues.” completed the EU chief executive.

So far, the EU has spared Russian bank Sberbank because, along with Gazprombank, it is one of the main channels for payments for Russian oil and gas.

Von de Leyen also said that reducing Putin’s financial gains must be a priority. “Oil is being traded globally”she said. “What shouldn’t happen is that Putin is getting even higher returns in other markets for deliveries that would otherwise go to the EU. Therefore, we are developing smart mechanisms so that the next level of sanctions also includes oil.”.

More weapons for Ukraine

Von de Leyen also called on member states to supply Ukraine with weapons systems “quickly”. “This applies to all member states: those that can and must deliver quickly. Because only then will Ukraine be able to survive in its sharp defensive battle against Russia.”he said.

Some European countries have been hesitant to export heavy weapons such as tanks or fighter jets, expressing concern that such a move could escalate the war in Ukraine into direct conflict between Russia and NATO members. .

However, von der Leyen urged European leaders not to delay decisions on weapons category differences. “I don’t distinguish between heavy and light weapons”he said. “Ukraine has to get everything it needs to defend itself.”

Also in the interview with Bildthe president of the European Commission also said that European citizens must mentally prepare for a long conflict in Ukraine. “We have to do everything we can to make sure this ends as quickly as possible. And at the same time, we have to prepare ourselves for the fact that war can, at worst, last for months or even years.”he said.

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