The European Union called the most powerful lever of influence on Russia

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The head of the EC Ursula von der Leyen considered the sanctions the most powerful leverage on Russia

The European Union called the most powerful lever of influence on Russia

Ursula von der Leyen. Photo: Pool / Reuters

The President of the European Commission (EC), Ursula von der Leyen, called the most powerful lever of influence on Russia. She spoke about this in an interview with the German TV channel ARD.

According to her, in the event of Russia's “invasion” of Ukraine, the European Union (EU) will respond to Moscow with its most effective tool – economic and financial sanctions. The head of the EC noted that such restrictive measures would actually mean the practical isolation of Russia from financial markets. At the same time, she did not specify whether this means the possibility of disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT interbank payment system.

In addition, Ursula von der Leyen said that sanctions could affect all goods that Russia needs to modernize and diversify the economy, produced in the EU. She added that such measures are also supported in the US, Canada and the UK. According to the German media, the EC chairman hopes to use the threat of sanctions to dissuade Moscow from a possible plan to “invade” Ukraine and stimulate further negotiations.

Over the past few months, Kiev and Western countries have been accusing Russia of pulling troops to the borders of Ukraine and preparing a military offensive. Moscow has repeatedly denied the existence of such aggressive plans. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, NATO's statements about the impending “invasion” are alarmist.

On February 20, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the situation on the line of contact in the Donbass was escalated to the maximum. “Any spark, any unplanned incident or any small planned provocation can lead to irreparable consequences,” he warned. Peskov also stressed that against such a background, the dates announced in the West about the alleged “invasion” of Russia in Ukraine threaten with bad consequences.

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