Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, has called on the European Union to impose sanctions on Russia’s nuclear industry and missile and drone producers.
Zelensky has also asked the EU states to provide Ukraine with long-range missiles and fighter jets to defend against Russian troops’ assaults. He made this statement at the EU summit in Brussels.
“Russia has raised the risk of a nuclear disaster in Europe, and the Russian nuclear industry is still exempt from international sanctions. There are still actions that must be taken. For example, sanctions against the whole Russian missile and drone industry, the relevant part of the terrorist state’s IT sector. After all, Russian missile terror will remain a threat until the source of such a threat is destroyed”.Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine
Zelensky called for sanctions against Russian nuclear industry
Zelensky urged the EU leaders to include the sanctions list on the Russian nuclear industry, specifically Rosatom, in response to Russia’s takeover of nuclear power plants such as Zaporizhzhia. The Ukrainian NPP was held by the Russian military in March and has been repeatedly targeted, raising fears of a nuclear disaster.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated this during a press conference alongside European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The President also noted that a decision on long-range weapons is being considered following his visit to the United Kingdom.
While at the EU, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that certain favorable decisions on selling Western fighter jets to Ukraine have already been made, but Russia should be kept in the dark about them.
Ukraine’s main requests in Brussels
First and foremost, the Ukrainian side is expected to press EU member states for general support to expedite armament deliveries ahead of Russia’s likely spring invasion.
Following recent pledges of Western combat tanks, Ukrainian officials are now focusing on securing supplies of longer-range rockets and fighter fighters. Eastern Europeans support fighter aircraft supply to Kyiv; France and the Netherlands are not entirely opposed; the United Kingdom is cautious but likely to move; and Germany is opposed.
EU to approve the 10th package of sanctions against Russia
In Brussels, more economic sanctions against Russia are also expected to be debated.
EU member states are presently working on a tenth round of sanctions, which are expected to be ready by February 24, according to EU officials and diplomats.
While Ukraine’s President is unlikely to depart Brussels with immediate promises to meet his demands, his visit to Brussels allows him to lobby all 27 EU leaders for the first time since Russia’s invasion of the country nearly a year ago.
Zelensky seeks EU support for his peace formula
Another topic on Zelensky’s agenda in Brussels is to seek the EU leader’s support for his peace formula. At the G20 summit Mr. Zelensky presented the ten-point plan that Ukraine believes has the potential to construct a new global security architecture.
Before the conference, Zelenskyy delivered a speech in the European Parliament, emphasizing that Ukraine will be a member of the EU and is doing everything possible to achieve that goal, including in times of war.
Kyiv expects Moscow to intensify its offensive
Following significant Ukrainian ground advances in the second half of 2022, Russia has regained impetus, sending tens of thousands of newly mobilized troops to the front.
Kyiv expects Moscow to intensify its offensive with a major push around the anniversary of the invasion on February 24.