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EU Commission President on 1-year war anniversary: We are with you for as long as it takes

by The Kyiv Independent news desk February 24, 2023 9:35 AM 2 min read
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EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen marked the one-year anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion in a video by commending the Ukrainian people, saying, "You are fighting for freedom, for democracy, and for your place in the European Union."

She added that the European Union is with Ukraine "for as long as it takes" to win.

On the eve of the one-year anniversary, European Council members published a joint statement in support of Ukraine, pledging continued support "in political, economic, humanitarian, financial and military terms" and reaffirming their intention to assist the country in reconstruction efforts, for which they would reportedly aim to use frozen Russian assets.

The EU has planned to have the new package of sanctions ready on Feb. 24, according to unnamed diplomats, cited by Reuters.

Von der Leyen stated that the sanctions package would restrict multiple electronic components used in Russian weapons worth 11 billion euros through trade bans and technology controls, which would aid in reducing their availability.

According to the European Council's statement, the union member states are "determined" to bring all those "responsible for war crimes and other most serious crimes committed in connection with Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine" to justice.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported on Feb. 21 that there have been an estimated 21,293 civilian casualties in Ukraine since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion, including 8,006 killed and 13,287 injured. However, the actual number of casualties is likely much higher due to lack of access to the occupied territories and areas under heavy fighting.

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