European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told CNN on Wednesday that she believes the latest move from Russian President Vladimir Putin calls for a new round of European Union sanctions against Russia.
“President Putin is showing his weakness now because what you see is that he tries to mobilize personnel that is less trained, less experience, less motivated and he wants to start sham referenda on Ukrainian sovereign soil. So I think this calls for sanctions from our part again,” von der Leyen told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an interview.
Earlier in the day, Putin announced an immediate partial mobilization of Russian citizens, marking the biggest escalation since the start of his war in Ukraine.
After the interview, von der Leyen gave the Amanpour program this statement, confirming her commitment to fresh sanctions against Moscow:
"We stand ready to impose further economic costs on Russia and on individuals and entities inside and outside of Russia who support, politically or economically. Plus we will propose additional export controls on civilian technology as Russia moves to a full war economy."
During the interview, the EU leader hailed the effect of sanctions so far, saying they are “really biting.”
When Amanpour asked about the Russian leader’s nuclear rhetoric in his recent address, von der Leyen said “Putin has nuclear weapons, that’s a fact, but will never bow to blackmail.”