European Union to impose harsher sanctions on Russia as war escalates 4 months ago

European Union to impose harsher sanctions on Russia as war escalates

"Those who would sustain Putin's war machine should no longer be able to enjoy their lavish lifestyle while bombs fall on innocent people in Ukraine."

European Union leaders will unite in levelling another round of sanctions on Russia as the war in Ukraine continues to escalate.

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Speaking in Versailles on Friday evening (11 March), Taoiseach Micheál Martin referred to a "grave situation" that he anticipates will worsen before it improves.

"We need to be ahead of events," he said.

"This is a grave situation, and there was a sense in the last 48 hours that this war is going to get worse before it gets better."

The Taoiseach once again condemned the "inhuman" attacks being carried out in Ukraine, speaking of "real concerns" associated with Putin's potential use of nuclear power.

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"There is quite a considerable degree of foreboding in terms of what Vladimir Putin is capable of doing in situations like this," he said.

Over 2.5 million refugees have fled Ukraine since the invasion began two weeks ago.

Further sanctions will be levelled against Russia, according to European Union Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, including freezing existing financial workarounds such as cryptocurrency.

"We will stop the group close to Putin and the architects of the war from using these assets to grow and transfer their wealth," said von der Leyen on Friday.

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"We will ban the export of any EU luxury goods from our countries to Russia as a direct blow to the Russian elite.

"Those who would sustain Putin's war machine should no longer be able to enjoy their lavish lifestyle while bombs fall on innocent people in Ukraine."

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Speaking on Friday, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said that his country has reached a "strategic turning point" in the ongoing conflict as Russian forces prepare for further assaults on major cities.

"The situation is critical," noted Ukrainian interior ministry adviser Vadym Denysenko.

Meanwhile, the Taoiseach is set to meet with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson this weekend as part of a programme of events designed to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

The pair are expected to discuss the ongoing war in Ukraine, in addition to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

A meeting with US President Joe Biden in Washington D.C. is also on the cards next week, in accordance with Ireland's annual Patrick's Day tradition.

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Featured Image of Micheál Martin via Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie