The European Union is preparing to mark one year of President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine with a tenth package of sanctions which will target not only Russian political and military leaders, but also propagandists who are poisoning the public space at home and abroad. This comes as Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, speaking ahead of a Brussels summit, expressed a different stance from his peers, calling for peace in Ukraine rather than more weapons.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen revealed the package at a joint press conference with European Council President Charles Michel and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Brussels. Ursula von der Leyen stated that the EU will be enacting sanctions against several political and military figures and those who promote Putin's message, “because their lies are poisoning the public space in Russia and abroad”. The package will also include additional export bans worth more than €10 billion, according to von der Leyen.
The EU is also considering a ban on Russian nationals serving on boards of critical infrastructure companies in the EU, such as electricity grids or gas providers. This comes as EU tyre manufacturers have already sought to avoid increasing the costs of production by continuing to purchase synthetic rubber from Russia.
Radev has been outspoken against the notion of imposing sanctions on Moscow’s nuclear sector, as Bulgaria is entirely dependent on Russia for its nuclear fuel supply. He has stated that Bulgaria will use its veto if necessary to object to nuclear energy sanctions. Radev has further argued that sending weapons to Ukraine is akin to “putting out fire with gasoline”, despite the previous Bulgarian parliament’s approval of the transfer of weaponry to Ukraine last November.
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