Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address Monday that the new EU sanctions “will truly reduce” Russia’s economic foundation for war against his country.
“We will continue to work with our partners to ensure that the sanctions imposed by Europe work globally,” he added.
The 12th package of sanctions adopted by the European Union Council Monday includes an import and export ban on Russian-origin diamonds and closed loopholes that Russia could use to avoid EU’s punitive measures.
To prevent Russia from maintaining its military hardware, the EU is introducing a “No Russia clause” that requires EU exporters to contractually prohibit the re-exportation to Russia of any item on a list of “sensitive goods and technology,” Reuters reports.
Russian diamond producer ALROSA declined to comment on the 12th EU sanctions package.
The package also tightens compliance rules for those buying Russian oil via the G7 price cap mechanism.
Responding to the new round of sanctions, Russia’s diplomatic mission to the European Union said Monday that the EU’s need to enforce a new punitive package showed that such measures against the Russian economy had failed.
“The Russian economy is not ‘torn to shreds,’ attempts to isolate us on the international stage, including the Brussels platform, have failed miserably, the goal of ‘inflicting a strategic defeat’ has not been achieved,” the mission said in a statement posted online.
Meanwhile, the United States is planning one more aid package for Ukraine later in December. After that, Congress will need to approve further assistance, the White House said Monday.
“When that one’s done … we will have no more replenishment authority available to us and we’re going to need Congress to act without delay,” White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said.
More than 40 former top U.S. and NATO diplomats and defense officials penned an open letter to Democratic and Republican Senate and House leaders urging them to approve new aid for Ukraine.
The former officials — members of an informal network dedicated to bolstering the NATO military alliance and European security called the Alphen Group warned that losing the war with Russia would be disastrous for Ukraine and would threaten the security of the United States and its allies.
Senate Republicans earlier this month blocked an emergency spending bill containing $50 billion in additional Ukraine aid as Republicans pressed their demands for tougher measures to control immigration at the U.S. border with Mexico.
Front line Ukrainian troops face shortages of artillery shells and have scaled back some military operations because of a shortfall of foreign assistance, a senior Ukrainian army general told Reuters.
Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi spoke after Republican lawmakers blocked a new U.S. aid package and Hungary vetoed 50 billion euros ($54.5 billion) in European Union funding for Kyiv’s defensive war against Russia.
Ukraine’s military said Monday it shot down all five drones Russia used in attempted attacks overnight.
The Ukrainian air force said the drones were downed in four different parts of the country, including the Mykolaiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Vinnytsia and Khmelnytskyi regions.
There were no reports of casualties or damage on the ground from falling debris.
Ukraine and the European Commission will soon evaluate progress Kyiv has made in aligning its legislation with that of the European Union and will create a framework for EU accession talks expected next year, Zelenskyy said Sunday.
“In the coming days, with the European Commission, we will officially launch the process of assessing Ukrainian legislation for compliance with EU legislation — the screening process,” Zelenskyy said.
The European Commission reported last month that Ukraine had fulfilled four of seven recommendations for EU accession negotiations, including hiring anti-corruption officials, preparing the judiciary for a major overhaul and aligning media legislation with EU standards.
The commission said it would assess Ukraine’s progress again in March, part of a long and complicated pathway to membership that the EU’s ambassador to Ukraine, Katarina Mathernova, has described as grueling.
Last week, EU leaders agreed to open membership talks with Ukraine in a surprise decision as the bloc’s 27 member states held a two-day summit. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban abstained from voting, saying he did not want to take part in what he called a “bad decision.”
He had said Ukraine had not met three conditions.
Orban had pledged for weeks to block moving forward with the negotiations. The other 26 members voted in favor of the accession negotiations after Orban agreed to leave the room. Russia praised Hungary, which is considered Moscow’s closest ally in the EU, for objecting to the talks.