Ukrainian Prime Minister Ruti confirmed that the embattled Ukrainian president is already happy with the European Union’s action against Russia and support for his country. Although the European Union has yet to respond to his urgent appeal, among other things, to cut Russia off from international payment transactions and punish President Putin personally. According to Root, the union will further consider those punitive measures in the coming period, in addition to the “unprecedented package of penalties” launched on Thursday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed Rutte and other European Union leaders Thursday evening at a scheduled summit on Russia’s invasion of his country. Later that evening, he told his countrymen in a televised address that he was disappointed that Ukraine was on its own.
Rutte stated that Zelensky “very much respects what we all do”. The Ukrainian president knows that the EU countries will not help him by force of arms, but “we are helping him in every possible way.” Rutte said EU leaders had reaffirmed their awareness of Ukraine’s strong desire to join the union. “This is also appreciated.”
The prime minister said the president, who was recalled from Kiev from a “sort of dugout” in an army green shirt, made a “tremendous impression” on Rutte and his colleagues. “He is an impressive man. A man who shows leadership and stands by in the most difficult moments and keeps the peace.”
Rutte does not know whether Zelensky and the Ukrainians will notice the impact of the new sanctions. But it will certainly affect Russia, the oligarchy and people with economic interests at the top of the social ladder. The prime minister, who has been in Brussels for twelve years, says he has never faced such stringent punitive measures before. We know from the recent past that sanctions packages will eventually have an effect.
Rutte says the sanctions, which largely match actions taken by other Western countries, also send a message. “A sign that the whole world is united” in resisting Russian “aggression.”
According to insiders, EU countries such as Italy and Germany were still reluctant to deny Russia access to the SWIFT payment system. According to Root, the negative consequences of such a move should first be investigated. Putin is evading personal sanctions so as not to hinder a possible resumption of talks on a diplomatic solution.
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