Zelenskiy calls for more EU sanctions on Russia

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STORY: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called on Thursday (February 2) for more punitive measures against Russia by the European Union and said he had discussed a new EU sanctions package with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Zelenskiy, speaking at a joint news conference in Kyiv with von der Leyen, said the speed of the EU sanctions campaign against Russia had "slightly slowed down" and should be stepped up.

Since Moscow invaded Ukraine a year ago this month, the EU has slapped unprecedented sanctions targeting Russia's defense and financial sectors, limiting trade and blacklisting some 1,500 people and entities deemed involved in driving the war.

But the bloc has still left many business ties untouched - including Belgium's diamond trade with Russia - and the 27 EU countries seem to have largely exhausted the scope for hard-hitting economic sanctions they can all grant their necessary approval to.