EU Set to Impose Eighth Sanctions Package on Russia

European Union foreign ministers agreed on Wednesday to for an eighth sanctions package on Russia and increase weapons deliveries to Ukraine after Putin ordered the country’s first mobilization since World War II. The decision was made during the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations, where the bloc’s 27 foreign ministers are present.

EU foreign policy chief Borrell said Putin’s remarks, including moves to annex Ukrainian territory and a threat to use nuclear weapons, showed panic and desperation. Borrell added that it was clear that Putin is trying to destroy Ukraine.

The foreign ministers have agreed to task their teams to set out an eighth sanctions package after being briefed by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba. Borrell said new sanctions would target more relevant sectors in Russia and continue targeting people responsible for the war of aggression in Ukraine.

The sanctions package is expected to formalize when the EU ministers hold their next formal meeting in mid-October.

Additionally, the ministers agreed to boost weapons deliveries to Kyiv. While he declined to give details on the type of sanctions or military support, Borrell said he believed there would be unanimous support within the bloc for the new measures.

Estonian Foreign Minister Reinsalu described Putin’s comments as a “game changing moment”, adding that he was trying to frighten the West.

Wednesday’s meeting should emphasize unity, move ahead quickly with a new sanctions package and use the European peace facility funding mechanism to ramp up weapons supplies to Ukraine, he said.

However, reaching unanimity could prove difficult for the bloc at a time when it is coping with an energy supply crisis. Hungary on Tuesday dismissed the idea.

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