How can Russia keep up the fight in Ukraine if sanctions damage it to such a massive extent? European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Tuesday that the unprecedented sanctions imposed on Russia over its war with Ukraine are “draining” the Russian economy and Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s “war machine.”
“Ukraine must win this war,” von der Leyen said during an address at the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering in Davos, Switzerland.
“And Putin’s aggression must be a strategic failure,” she added. “We will do everything we can to help Ukrainians prevail and retake the future into their hands.”
Von der Leyen noted that the sweeping economic sanctions against Russia by the European Union, as well as the United States and the United Kingdom, are crippling the Russian economy.
“Our sanctions and the self-sanctioning by companies themselves are draining Russia’s economy and thus draining the Kremlin’s war machine,” von der Leyen said.
Trade experts have recently said that Russia’s economy is “imploding” as exports to the sanctioned country crash in the face of Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Insider previously reported.
During von der Leyen’s address, she said that the “playbook of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine” amid Moscow’s three-month war with the eastern European country that has left thousands dead “comes straight out of another century.”
“Treating millions of people not as human beings, but as faceless populations to be moved or controlled or set as a buffer between military forces. Trying to trample the aspirations of an entire nation with tanks,” von der Leyen said.
She added, “This is not just a matter of Ukraine’s survival. It is not only an issue of European security. This is putting our whole international order into question.”
“And that’s why countering Russia’s aggression is a task for the entire global community,” said von der Leyen.
Von der Leyen continued, “We will, hand in hand, help Ukraine rise from the ashes.”
Additionally, von der Leyen said that the 27-nation bloc EU has proposed more than 10 billion euros in financial assistance to aid Ukraine in the “largest package of macro-financial assistance ever conceived by the European Union for a third country.”
“Ukraine belongs in our European family,” von der Leyen said. “Ukrainians have stood tall in the face of brutal violence. They have stood for their own freedom and for humanity.”
“We stand with them and I think this is a defining moment for the democracies of the world,” she said.
Natalie is a senior news reporter at Insider covering breaking news. She joined Insider in June 2021.