French Presidency: Paris to deliver more military equipment to Kiev
The French presidency says Paris will supply Kiev with more military equipment and impose more sanctions on Moscow.
France will send fuel and more military equipment to Ukraine to assist Kiev amid Russia's special operation to demilitarize Ukraine, and will impose more economic sanctions on Moscow, the French presidency announced Saturday.
The new sanctions would include "national measures to freeze the financial assets of Russian figures," as well as "new measures" to be taken "with European partners concerning the SWIFT" interbank system, the presidency mentioned in a statement, after French President Emmanuel Macron chaired a defense meeting.
There would also be "measures to counter propaganda by Russian influencers and media on European soil", the statement read, without providing further details.
Sanctions could complicate trade with Europe
SWIFT's messaging system allows banks to communicate rapidly and securely about transactions, and excluding Moscow from the system would affect the world's ability to trade with Russia.
The move could complicate remaining trade with Europe, including natural gas imports vital to the continent's energy supply as well as oil shipments.
Paris has been backed by other European capitals in pushing for the SWIFT sanctions, but Berlin has been more reluctant.
Germany however said Saturday it was also working to exclude Russia from SWIFT.
Russia responds to sanctions
Russian gas makes up a higher share of Germany's energy supplies than other European countries.
It is noteworthy that in response to EU sanctions, the Russian space agency withdrew its experts from the Kourou space station and suspended the launch of Soyuz missiles.
Moreover, the Russian space agency Roscosmos has suspended cooperation with Europe on launches from the Kourou cosmodrome and has recalled its staff from French Guiana, according to Dmitry Rogozin, the agency's head.