Europe, Russia-Ukraine War

France to deliver weapons to Ukraine, freeze assets of Russian oligarchs

Paris begins enforcing sanctions; seizes Russian cargo ship

Shweta Desai   | 27.02.2022
France to deliver weapons to Ukraine, freeze assets of Russian oligarchs

PARIS

President Emmanuel Macron decided, in an emergency defense council meeting Saturday, to deliver more defensive weapons to Ukraine and strengthen economic sanctions against Moscow, including freezing financial assets of oligarchs.

Responding to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s telephone call from Kyiv saying his country needs more arms to defend against Russian military operations, the Macron government agreed to “deliver additional defense equipment to the Ukrainian authorities as well as fuel support,” the Elysee said in a statement without giving details on the type of equipment.

France will also invoke sanctions to freeze the financial assets of Russian individuals and work with European countries and the US to revoke Moscow’s access to the SWIFT international banking system, it said.

Paris already began enforcing a part of the sanctions.

Minister of Economy, Finance and Recovery, Bruno Le Maire, told C News, he directed the General Directorate of Public Finance and intelligence services to identify all bank accounts, real estate and assets, including boats of Russian oligarchs, under sanctions and those close to the Putin administration, to freeze their assets.

A Russian freighter, Baltic Leader, bound for Saint-Petersburg, was intercepted and seized by customs in the English Channel as part of the application of European sanctions.

The cargo vessel owned by a subsidiary of state-owned financial institution Promsvyazbank, PSB Lizing OOO, is sanctioned by Washington along with several Russian companies.

The government also decided to undertake measures to counter propaganda from Russian influencers and media on European soil.

The Foreign Ministry is using social media accounts to fight a misinformation campaign against Ukraine. ​​​​​​​

To strengthen NATO's posture on the eastern flank, France is gearing up to mobilize more than 9,500 soldiers in the coming days, according to BFMTV news.

The Defense Ministry announced it will be engaging heavy military equipment, aerial defense and troops to Norway, Estonia, Poland, Romania, and Bosnia Herzegovina as well as bolstering maritime surveillance in the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic Sea.


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