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EU targets Russia and Belarus with sanction, Ukraine pleads for EU membership

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Posted at 10:25 AM, Feb 28, 2022

The European Union is preparing to impose new sanctions on Belarus for helping Russia with its invasion of Ukraine.

The sanctions will be aimed at exports, oligarchs, central banks and cutting banks off from SWIFT.

SWIFT is a global financial messaging system between banks and financial institutions in more than 200 countries and territories.

The EU will also likely stop exports of Belarusian goods, including mineral fuels, tobacco, wood, cement and iron steel.

The union is also taking more action against Russia.

On Sunday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen confirmed Russia is now prohibited from entering EU airspace.

This includes aircraft, like private jets, belonging to oligarchs and Russian state media.

The United Kingdom and Canada have done the same.

On Saturday, the EU as well as Canada and the U.S. and Canada also announced restrictive measures that prevent the Russian Central Bank from using international reserves.

Countries also plan to restrict the sale of so-called “golden passports”, which allow wealthy Russians connected to the Russian government to become citizens of other countries and gain access to financial systems.

On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted on Instagram, announcing he has signed an application for Ukraine to join the EU.

This comes just days after he urged European leaders to let the country in.

He said now was a "crucial moment to close the long-standing discussion once and for all and decide on Ukraine's members in the EU."

This is not the first time Ukraine has expressed wanting to be part of the EU.

Last year, on Ukraine's independence day, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said his country must be part of the bloc to confront Russia.