EU leaders held a joint press conference with NATO Secretary-General sending the message that the world can see that unity is our strength. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen held a joint press conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Charles Michel, President of the European Council on Thursday. “We are at a watershed moment,” von der Leyen said. “And the three of us, standing here together, is yet more proof of how closely the European Union and NATO are responding to the Kremlin’s actions. The world can see that unity is our strength.”
Massive and targeted sanctions
Von der Leyen said they presented a package of “massive and targeted sanctions” to European Leaders for approval, coordinating closely with allies like the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Norway, Japan and Australia.
The package includes financial sanctions that limit Russia’s access to capital markets, which will come on top of the already intensive pressure Russia’s economy has been facing in recent weeks. The sanctions are intended to suppress Russia’s economic growth, increase the country’s borrowing costs, raise inflation, intensify capital outflows and gradually erode its industrial base, von der Leyen said.
The European Union and NATO have worked in close complementarity, and this crisis will bring us even closer together. It is our shared duty to stand up to the gravest act of aggression on European soil in decades. Our unity is our best strength. The Kremlin understands this very well, and that is why they have tried their best to divide us, but they have achieved the exact opposite. We are more united and more determined than ever. We are one Union, one Alliance, united in purpose.
Charles Michel, President of the European Council: We, the European Union, stand rock solid. United, firm and determined, together with NATO, together with our allies, partners and friends, to hold Russia accountable, to support Ukraine and to protect peace in Europe. We stand shoulder to shoulder with all the countries across the world that want to uphold the rules-based international order for the sake of peace.
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