EU Commission Secretly Planned Sanctions on Russia with Washington Long Before Ukraine War

According to an article in Politico, it began in November 2021 at the White House, during Ursula von der Leyen’s visit to Washington, accompanied by the head of her cabinet Björn Seibert another member of her Cabinet, Fernando Andresen Guimaraes. In addition to President Biden, they met with his National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, and then Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economics Daleep Singh.

In this meeting and on several occasions afterwards, they worked out a draft sanctions package to be applied if Russia invaded Ukraine, that was kept secret, including from EU heads of state and government. Then, when Moscow did launch its “military operations”, the package was quickly pushed through, almost without discussion.

The article in Politico is appropriately titled “Europe’s American president: The paradox of Ursula von der Leyen”, and stresses how closely Ursula von der Leyen coordinates all EU policy decisions with the Biden Administration, with whom she has, in her own words, “an intense, trustful and detailed cooperation”. Her approach “may have endeared her to her counterparts on the other side of the Atlantic. But those same attributes have also alienated her from some of her colleagues in Brussels and other European capitals.”

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