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EU Seeks New Russia Sanctions Package, Targets Iran's Drones

FILE - European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks in Prague, Czech Republic, Oct 7, 2022. Von der Leyen said Wednesday that the EU is considering new sanctions against Russia and other countries providing goods Moscow is using in its war on Ukraine.

The European Union is considering a new set of sanctions totaling 11 billion euros against Russia and several countries providing vital goods that Moscow is using to boost its troops on the battlegrounds in Ukraine.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday that the package under consideration by the EU's 27 member countries seeks to deprive Russia of military equipment it needs and cannot get anywhere else.

It includes proposals to subject seven Iranian entities to sanctions to try to prevent Russia from using Iranian drones to hit Ukrainian civilian infrastructure.

The proposals put forward by von der Leyen center on additional electronic weapons components for equipment such as drones, missiles, helicopters and thermal cameras. She had hinted at some of the measures during an EU-Ukraine summit early this month.

If the proposals are endorsed unanimously by the EU members, "we have banned all tech products found on the battlefield," von der Leyen said.

Ambassadors were to assess what is called a 10th package of sanctions against Russia later Wednesday. It is expected to be discussed during a Monday meeting of EU foreign ministers in hopes of having final approval by the February 24 anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The package also tries to close loopholes that have allowed some measures from earlier packages to be circumvented and seeks to go after oligarchs who try to escape sanctions.

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said it will also target 100 additional individuals and entities, including those who have been involved in kidnappings and taking Ukrainian children to Russia.

Usually, EU sanctions are decided in close cooperation with major Western partners such as the United States and Britain. The partners usually announce similar packages within a very short time frame.