US and EU threaten to impose new sanctions on Russia

The United States and the European Union have reached a “broad consensus” on the need to increase pressure on Russia, especially through “new sanctions”, the Italian government said on Tuesday (19).

Allied countries also agreed on the need to “increase Moscow’s international isolation”, the note said.

The announcement was confirmed by the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. “We will further strengthen our sanctions against Russia and step up financial and security assistance to Ukraine,” she tweeted.

The decision was made during a videoconference meeting between President Joe Biden and key US allies dedicated to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The videoconference brought together the leaders of France, Emmanuel Macron; from the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson; from Germany, Olaf Scholz; from Romania, Klaus Iohannis; Poland, Andrzej Duda; Italy, Mario Draghi; Canada, Justin Trudeau; and Japan, Fumio Kishida.

Von der Leyen, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and the head of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, also participated.

In a statement, Stoltenberg confirmed that the participants had reached a consensus on “the importance of making Russia pay even more dearly” for the invasion of Ukraine.

The Italian government also highlighted that “the mutual commitment to diversify energy sources, thus reducing dependence on Russian supplies” was reaffirmed.

Casa Blanca spokeswoman Jen Psaki said participants discussed “coordinated efforts to continue inflicting significant economic costs on Russia to pay” for their actions.

The increase in sanctions is announced amid a new phase of the Russian offensive against Ukraine in the Donbass region (east).

Pro-Moscow separatists have controlled parts of Donbass since 2014 in two self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Luhansk provinces.

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