“Russia will plunge into economic, financial and technological decline” (Von der Leyen)

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, while visiting Kiev on Friday, predicted a bleak future for Russia. According to her, the country led by Vladimir Putin is threatened with “dissolution” due to increasingly severe sanctions, unlike Ukraine, which has a “European future”. In that sense, she joins Joe Biden, who emphasized Thursday that sanctions “AndErase 15 years of economic progress in Russia’ and they are going “It stifled its ability to grow for years.”

“Russia will plunge into economic, financial and technological decline, while Ukraine is moving towards a European future,” she said during a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The comments come as the European Union and the Group of Seven imposed new sanctions on Moscow, targeting in particular for the first time the Russian energy sector, on which they depend heavily.

Coal ban: EU hits Russia’s energy sector for the first time

The return of European diplomatic representation to Kyiv

“Your fight is also our fight. I am here in Kyiv with you today to send a very strong message: the European Union is on your side. We are on your side,” she added.

Brussels will soon reopen its diplomatic representation in Kyiv, after temporarily relocating it to Poland at the start of the Russian invasion. To present this initiative as a means of providing more support to the Ukrainian government and people, the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, remained in Kyiv to assess the conditions for the return of European diplomatic staff.

Application for membership of the European Union

As Ukraine seeks EU membership, Ursula von der Leyen hopes Presents “As of this summer Ukraine’s candidacy for membership in the European Council”.

“It usually takes years for the European Council to accept the application, but Ukraine did it in a week or two, and I want to move in that direction as quickly as possible,” she said on the train that took her to Kyiv. According to Reuters.

Angry at the Bucha massacre (“Our humanity was shattered in Buca”) and calling the killing of about fifty people in a strike against a train station in Kramatorsk “horrific” a few hours earlier, the commission chief explained that the Europeans were marshaling its “economic power to reap a very heavy price from Vladimir” (Putin).

“I am deeply convinced that Ukraine will win this war, and democracy will win this war,” she said, promising European investments to rebuild Ukraine.

She promised, “We will work with Ukraine to rebuild Ukraine, and this means huge investments and reforms that will shape and pave the way to the European Union.”

Volodymyr Zelensky said he was “personally grateful” for the five rounds of sanctions against Russia, but noted that it “wasn’t enough”.

Moscow recognizes the great difficulties

Thursday before the Russian Prime Minister Duma, Mikhail Mishustin, He admitted that the sanctions put Russia in great difficulty.

“The current situation can undoubtedly be described as the most difficult for Russia in three decades,” he said, adding that Such penalties have never been used before [contre la Russie]Even in the darkest hours of the Cold War.

Russia faces its worst situation in 30 years, says Russian PM, more pessimistic than Biden

“The reality is that the country is sinking into economic, financial and technological isolation,” A senior US administration official told reporters on Thursday. “At this rate, it will return to the standard of living that prevailed in the Soviet era in the eighties,” he added.

The war in Ukraine: “Our sanctions will erase fifteen years of economic progress in Russia” (Joe Biden)

food price inflation

Today, Russian citizens spend an average of 40% of their disposable income on food, twice as much as before the war, the head of the liaison office of the United Nations Food Agency told Reuters in Russia.

Russian government data shows annual food price inflation hit 18.75% on April 1, with the economy recovering from sanctions imposed on Moscow since the invasion of Ukraine began on April 24.

Oleg Kobyakov, of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), said many Russian families are now developing strategies to cope with the crisis, with a large part of their income going to purchases of basic necessities, such as food.

“People are putting off things like going to college or buying a house. They’re saving if they lose their jobs, if they die,” he said.

He added that the average European family spends 12% of its income on food, noting that while hunger is not looming in Russia, poor families will still face increasing levels of food insecurity.

To counter inflation, Moscow plans to regulate the prices of food, medicine and other products and temporarily ban some agricultural exports. The government can also decide to price almost all exports of basic foodstuffs in rubles. Although these measures had some impact on consumer price inflation, it is expected to rise further.

(with agencies)