The Ukrainian government is lobbying European Union nations as well as the United States to shut their borders to any and all Russian travelers for a period of at least one year.
“The most important sanctions are to close the borders — because the Russians are taking away someone else’s land,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said in Monday comments to The Washington Post. Zelensky went so far as to say there should be a world-wide ban in place by the international community on Russians going anywhere.
This call to further isolate Russia and its citizens came the same day the Pentagon and Biden administration unveiled another massive Ukraine defense aid package, this time time ramping up the dollar amount to $1 billion in military equipment, for which Zelensky formally thanked Biden in a message.
Zelensky in the statements said Russian citizens should “live in their own world until they change their philosophy” – before being allowed to travel in the West. “They’ll understand then,” he said.
He argued that barring all Russians from traveling would send a powerful deterrent message, while also urging Europe to pull the trigger on a total Russian energy ban. At the same time Zelensky called existing Western sanctions “weak”.
Surprisingly, Zelensky’s remarks were backed out of the gate by a couple of EU member nations:
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