EU Proposes New Russia Sanctions as NATO Holds Defense Talks 

The European Union proposed a new round of Russian sanctions on Wednesday, while NATO defense ministers gathered in Brussels discussed bolstering defense spending and arms production as they pledge ongoing support for Ukrainian forces.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the sanctions package includes a ban on exports of industrial goods and tech products to Russia, saying the measures would deny Russian forces the components needed for their weapons systems.

The proposal also includes sanctions against Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps in response to its supply of Shahed drones that Russian forces have used to attack Ukrainian infrastructure sites.

Another piece targets Russian propagandists and military commanders.

Von der Leyen said Russian President Putin is “waging war in the public space with an army of propagandists and disinformation networks,” and that they are “spreading toxic lies to polarize our societies.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at the start of the second of two days of defense ministerial talks that allies would examine ways to enhance defense industrial capacity.

Stoltenberg has stressed the need to provide Ukraine with more ammunition to keep up with its fight against Russian forces, and for allies to complete pledged deliveries of tanks and other heavy equipment.

Also Tuesday, the U.N. humanitarian affairs office and U.N. refugee agency launched a joint appeal for $5.6 billion to help those affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The agencies said the funds were needed to provide food, health care and other aid to those within Ukraine, as well as to help Ukrainian refugees and 10 host countries.

“Almost a year on, the war continues to cause death, destruction and displacement daily, and on a staggering scale,” U.N. humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said in a statement.

Some material in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.

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