Borrell: continue isolating Russia

Brussels 14.11.2022 “All in all, our approach to Russia remains clear. We agreed with the Ministers on a common message along the following lines” said the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell, concluding the EU Ministers Council.

“First, we will continue isolating Russia internationally. We will continue imposing restrictive measures against [the] Russian economy. We stand ready to continue reinforcing restrictive measures and target third countries’ involvement, especially the ones who [we know] are providing arms and military support – Iran and Belarus.

“This morning, we discussed with the leader of Belarusian [United] Democratic Forces, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. We reconfirmed to her our solidarity with the people of Belarus, and we will continue upholding sanctions against Lukashenko’s regime.

“As I said, tomorrow I will go deeper into the military aspects of the situation.

“It is clear that our sanctions are weakening the Russian economy. They weaken Russia’s capacity to buy and update technology. We never expected the sanctions were going to finish the war, but certainly, they are weakening the capacity of the Russian army to renew its material, especially in front of the enormous losses that Russia is suffering in the battlefield. It has weakened its capacity to lead a war based on terror against the Ukrainian people.

“Putin’s Russia wants to put Ukrainians into the darkness and the cold. They are destroying the electricity systems of this country: millions of Ukrainians do not have electricity. The purpose is, during the winter, to put them in inhumane situation in their cities.

“We will continue supporting the Ukrainian people and ensure accountability for the violations of international law and war crimes committed in Ukraine. The news coming from the liberated cities are really important to know what has happened there. Together with the [European] Commission, we are looking at the options at our disposal to ensure accountability, and the discussion will continue on that.

“We are working closely with our NATO partners and worldwide, [with] everybody who is ready to defend the international order based on rules.

“We are enhancing our resilience, in particular on energy security and critical infrastructure, countering Russia’s hybrid threats, and information manipulation. We are supporting civil society, human rights defenders and independent media inside and outside Russia. Our immediate support focuses on supporting Ukraine to resist Russia’s increased systematic targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure.

“Putin is unable to conquer Ukraine. Putin is unable to defeat the Ukrainian army, Putin is withdrawing. The Russian Army has withdrawn to the other side of the Dnipro River, and it is trying to compensate these military failures with efforts to increase the human suffering of the Ukrainian people – especially now as the winter is approaching.

“As I said, we are working with our partners to repair and replace Ukrainian energy infrastructure. This means an enormous effort.”

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