The European Union will close its airspace to Russian planes, fund weapons supplies to Ukraine and ban pro-Kremlin media outlets, the bloc’s top official announced on Sunday.
“We are shutting down EU airspace for Russian-owned, Russian-registered or Russian-controlled aircraft,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at a news conference.
Russian planes, including private jets of oligarchs, will “no more be able to land in, take off, or overfly the territory of the EU,” she said.
“For the first time, the EU will finance the purchase and delivery of weapons and equipment to a country under attack,” the top EU official said, hailing it as a “watershed moment.”
Von der Leyen said new measures against Moscow will also see a ban on “the Kremlin’s media machine in the EU.”
“The state-owned Russia Today and Sputnik, and their subsidiaries, will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin’s war,” she said.
“We are developing tools to ban their toxic and harmful disinformation in Europe.”
Labeling Belarus as “the other aggressor in this war,” she said the EU will target President Alexander Lukashenko’s “regime with a new package of sanctions, hitting their most important sectors.”
“All these measures come on top of the strong package presented yesterday, agreed by our international partners,” she added.
European Council President Charles Michel also issued a video message addressing the Ukrainians, saying that the EU was organizing the emergency delivery of defensive military equipment such as guns, ammunition, rockets and fuel to the Ukrainian troops as well as “significant money and humanitarian assistance.
“We have decided together with all our partners unprecedented sanctions against the Russian leadership,” he said and added: “We are cutting Russia and its economy from the international financial system. This will severely cripple Russia’s ability to operate globally,” he said.