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Von der Leyen Briefs Munich on How Brussels and Washington Planned Sanctions ... Before the War

Feb. 19, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—At the Munich Security Conference, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen revealed what insiders already knew: That sanctions against Russia had been planned in secret negotiations with Washington well in advance of the Ukraine war. “My cabinet and the commission started to work with the White House and the Treasury already in December [2021] on potential sanctions in case that Russia would invade Ukraine.” Of course, she claimed that they hoped Russia would not invade, but nevertheless “it was tedious work day and night, to align our very different trade systems to develop sanctions that are targeted at advanced technologies and goods that are irreplaceable for Russia.”

In reality, sanctions were secretly planned with the U.S. at least since November 2021, as EIR Strategic Alert reported, based on Politico coverage of von der Leyen’s September 2022 trip to Washington and the UN in New York, and her earlier Washington trip in November 2021.

Is von der Leyen saying this now, to share responsibility for the sanctions fiasco with the U.S.? As the EU is issuing the tenth package of sanctions, EU officials are grasping at straws in the attempt to defend their yet-to-be-proven effectiveness. In a Feb. 16 interview with Euronews, EU Special Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell (“The EU is a garden”) described the sanctions as a “slow-acting but certain poison.”

At the beginning of sanctions, EU officials said they would work “immediately.” Then, they would work “in the summer.” Before he left office in October 2022 as Italian Prime Minister, fellow architect of sanctions Mario Draghi asserted, “Some are working, some sort of, some are not working.” Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said that “sanctions work, but we do not know which ones.”

Now Borrell says they will work, but we don’t know when.

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