Finland and Sweden call for stronger EU sanctions against Russia and Belarus

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In a joint news conference, Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom and Finnish counterpart Elina Valtonen made a bold statement, urging the European Union to escalate sanctions against Russia and Belarus following the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

“The fact that Alexei Navalny’s death is directly linked to the leadership in Russia compels us to demand targeted sanctions against those responsible,” stated Billstrom, highlighting the need for a robust response to the tragic event.

The ministers emphasized the effectiveness of existing sanctions in curbing Russia’s ability to continue its unlawful actions in Ukraine. “Sanctions are proving to be a powerful tool in deterring Russia’s illegal war against Ukraine,” Billstrom emphasized.

Additionally, the Nordic countries proposed the establishment of a sanctions regime targeting Belarus for its support of Russia in the conflict. This move signals a strong stance against countries backing Russia’s aggressive actions.

The joint call by Finland and Sweden reflects growing concerns within the EU about Russia’s conduct and its impact on regional stability. The EU is now faced with a pivotal moment, where decisive action is needed to address these serious violations of international norms.

As pressure mounts on the EU to act, the response from member states will be crucial in determining the future direction of EU-Russia relations. Finland and Sweden’s stance sets a clear expectation for a united and resolute EU response to Russia’s actions.

(Source: Zawya | Breaking the News | Reuters | RBC-Ukraine)

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