The European Union will take further punitive measures against Russia and Belarus for their continued illegal activity in Ukraine, and, for the first time in the European Union’s history, the bloc will provide financial support for the acquisition and transport of arms and other assets to a country engaged in conflict, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced in Brussels on Sunday.
In a press release on the European Union’s latest response to the Russia invasion of its neighbor, Ukraine, the commission confirmed it had initiated the closure of EU airspace to Russian-owned and operated aircraft.
The move follows the independent decision by Finland, Poland and Romania to already close their airspace to Russian aircraft, but von der Leyen confirmed that the airspace ban will include private planes of Russian oligarchs.
“The Kremlin’s media machinery is also banned in the union, so neither Russia Today nor the Sputnik state news agencies can ‘spread their lies to justify Putin’s war and divide our union’,” the European Commission President also announced on Sunday.
“We are creating tools to stop their toxic and harmful misinformation in Europe,” her statement read.
As for Belarus, the commission president says the country will face further sanctions from the EU for aiding in Russian military aggression. It also confirmed yesterday’s announcement that the European Union has committed itself to excluding certain Russian banks from the SWIFT international interbank communications and transaction network.