Get Informed, Stay Inspired

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy applauds the EU's 12th round of sanctions against Russia.
Europe Ukraine

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy applauds the EU’s 12th round of sanctions against Russia.

During his evening video statement on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed that the recent sanctions imposed by the EU will significantly weaken Russia’s economic support for their ongoing war against Ukraine.

He stated that we will collaborate with our partners to guarantee the effectiveness of the sanctions enforced by Europe on a global scale.

The European Union Council has approved its 12th set of sanctions on Monday, which includes a prohibition on importing and exporting diamonds from Russia and addresses potential ways for Russia to evade the EU’s punishments.

Reuters reports that the EU will implement a “No Russia clause” to prevent Russia from keeping its military equipment. This clause will obligate EU exporters to include a provision in their contracts that prohibits the re-exportation of any item on a list of “sensitive goods and technology” to Russia.

The 12th EU sanctions package was not commented on by ALROSA, a diamond producer from Russia.

The package includes stricter compliance regulations for individuals who purchase Russian oil through the G7 price cap mechanism.

In reaction to the recent set of penalties, the Russian diplomatic delegation to the European Union stated on Monday that the EU’s decision to impose a new restrictive package demonstrated the ineffectiveness of previous efforts to target the Russian economy.

According to a statement posted online, the Russian economy has not been completely destroyed. Efforts to isolate Russia on the global stage, such as through the Brussels platform, have not been successful. The intended goal of causing a significant loss for Russia has also not been accomplished.

The United States is currently devising an additional aid package for Ukraine to be implemented in the later part of December. Following this, the White House announced on Monday that congressional approval will be necessary for any further aid.

“We will exhaust our replenishment authority once that task is completed and will require prompt action from Congress,” stated John Kirby, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council.

A group of over 40 retired high-ranking diplomats and defense officials from the U.S. and NATO wrote a public letter to leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties in the Senate and House, urging them to provide additional assistance to Ukraine.

The ex-officials, who belong to a non-formal group known as the Alphen Group, have cautioned about the severe consequences of losing the conflict with Russia. They emphasized that it would be catastrophic for Ukraine and could potentially endanger the security of the United States and its allies.

Earlier this month, Republican members of the Senate blocked a bill that would have provided an extra $50 billion in aid to Ukraine. Their actions were motivated by their desire for stronger immigration policies at the U.S.-Mexico border.

A high-ranking Ukrainian army general informed Reuters that front line troops in Ukraine are experiencing a lack of artillery shells and have had to reduce military operations due to insufficient foreign aid.

After Republican lawmakers prevented a new aid package and Hungary vetoed 50 billion euros ($54.5 billion) in European Union funding, Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi addressed the situation regarding Kyiv’s defensive war against Russia.

The Ukrainian military reported on Monday that it had successfully downed all five drones that Russia had deployed in attempted attacks overnight.

The drones were reportedly shot down by the Ukrainian air force in various regions of the country, such as Mykolaiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Vinnytsia, and Khmelnytskyi.

There were no reports of injuries or property damage from debris falling to the ground.

Zelenskyy announced on Sunday that Ukraine and the European Commission will soon assess the progress made by Kyiv in aligning its laws with those of the European Union. They will also establish a framework for talks regarding EU accession, which are anticipated to take place next year.

Zelenskyy stated that in the near future, the process of evaluating Ukrainian laws for adherence to EU laws, also known as the screening process, will be officially initiated in collaboration with the European Commission.

Last month, the European Commission announced that Ukraine has met four out of seven requirements for initiating EU accession talks. These include the recruitment of anti-corruption personnel, readiness for a significant reform of the judicial system, and harmonization of media laws with those of the EU.

The commission announced that it will reevaluate Ukraine’s advancements in March, as part of a lengthy and intricate process towards becoming a member. The EU’s ambassador to Ukraine, Katarina Mathernova, has referred to this path as demanding.

During a two-day summit, the 27 member states of the EU made a surprise decision to begin membership negotiations with Ukraine. However, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban chose to abstain from voting, citing his disapproval of what he deemed a “poor decision.”

He stated that Ukraine had not fulfilled three requirements.

For weeks, Orban had promised to obstruct progress in the negotiations. However, after Orban left the room, the other 26 members voted in favor of starting the accession negotiations. Russia commended Hungary, known as Moscow’s strongest ally in the EU, for objecting to the talks.

Some information is from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.