BRUSSELS: The European Union’s chief executive said on Sunday that the 27-nation bloc will ban some pro-Kremlin media outlets in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The state-owned Russia Today and Sputnik, as well as their subsidiaries, will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin’s war and to sow division in our union,” Ursula von der Leyen said.
She added that the EU would close its airspace to Russian airlines and fund supplies of weapons to Ukraine.
“For the first time ever, the European Union will finance the purchase and delivery of weapons and other equipment to a country that is under attack,” von der Leyen said.
“We are shutting down the EU airspace for Russians. We are proposing a prohibition on all Russian-owned, Russian registered or Russian-controlled aircraft. These aircraft will no more be able to land in, take off or overfly the territory of the EU,” she added.
Von der Leyen added that the EU will also target Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko for supporting Russia’s widespread military campaign in Ukraine.
“We will hit Lukashenko’s regime with a new package of sanctions,” she said.
The measures come on top of sanctions von der Leyen announced a day earlier that are about to be implemented: cutting some Russian banks out of the SWIFT interbank messaging network, banning all transactions with Russia's central bank, and added restrictions on Russian oligarchs.
The EU has also sanctioned Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.