MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The European Union and its allies have prepared a package of sanctions against Russia targeting energy and advanced technology sectors in the event of escalation in Ukraine, President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen said Saturday.”We have been preparing a robust package of financial and economic sanctions including on energy and cutting edge technology. If Kremlin strikes we can impose high cost sand severe consequences on Moscow’s economic interests,” von der Leyen said at the Munich Security conference during the session titled ‘’Hand in Hand: Transatlantic and European Security.”On Friday, President Joe Biden said he was “convinced” Russian President Vladimir Putin has already made a decision to invade. Biden claimed that Russian troops would attack Ukraine in the coming weeks or days and would target Kiev.
Russia has repeatedly denied having plans to attack any country, including Ukraine, or escalating the situation there. Moscow has also said the fears of an invasion in Ukraine are used as a pretext for advancing NATO’s military presence further eastward in Europe. Moscow has warned that NATO’s plans to expand further eastward pose a direct threat to its national security.On 18 February, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Kiev needs to engage in dialogue with the self-proclaimed Donbass republics and come up with a common solution to end the ongoing conflict.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the ongoing turmoil is being deliberately promoted by the West to cover Kiev sabotaging the Minsk agreements.The situation on the line of contact between Ukraine and the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) and Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has worsened in the past days, after Kiev intensified shelling of the territories of the republics.