Sweden’s government calls for even tougher sanctions on Russia

Sweden's government has called for the European Union to impose tougher and more far-reaching sanctions on Russia, following the latest round announced on Sunday.

Hans Dahlgren, Sweden's EU minister, makes a call for tougher sanctions against Russia.
Hans Dahlgren, Sweden's EU minister, makes a call for tougher sanctions against Russia. Photo: Lars Schröder/TT

“This reckless invasion which Russia is now carrying out against Ukraine is a new and dark chapter in Europe’s history,” Hans Dahlgren, Sweden’s EU minister, said at a press conference on Tuesday. 

The EU had already put in place historic measures to support Ukraine, he said. 

“But more is needed. This is about more and tougher sanctions against the Russian leadership, but also targeted support measures directly to Ukraine. They need to hit the Russian elite harder and more broadly,”

Sweden, he said, wanted tougher measures against the billionaire oligarchs who give their support to Vladimir Putin, as well as against individuals connected to the Wagner Group, a mercenary organisation connected to the Russian government. 

Dahlgren also called for faster action to end the so-called “golden passports and visas” offered by EU countries such as Malta, which allow wealthy Russians to receive citizenship or visas in exchange for inward investment. It was, he said, “a completely reprehensible business”. 

Russian participation in international organisations should be further limited, he continues, and Russian competitors should be banned from all international sporting competitions. 

Sweden’s government is also pushing for Russia to be investigated for crimes against international law. President Putin, Dahlgren said, was responsible for “enormous human suffering”. 

Swedish speakers can watch the press conference here

Swedish vocabulary: “reckless” – hänsynslös

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Sweden to send air defence system and ammunition to Ukraine

Sweden said on Wednesday it would provide Ukraine with military and humanitarian aid worth more than $350 million to help it cope with the upcoming winter.

Sweden to send air defence system and ammunition to Ukraine

Stockholm will contribute military aid worth three billion kronor ($286 million) plus additional humanitarian aid of 720 million kronor ($69 million), the government said.

The military aid will include an air defence system and ammunition, but the government would not disclose which system or the value due to “operational secrecy”.

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said the aid package, Sweden’s ninth to Ukraine since the war began, was its largest so far.

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson (right), and Defence Minister Pål Jonson announce the aid package alongside Aid and Foreign Trade Minister Johan Forssell. Photo: Stefan Jerrevång/TT

The humanitarian package will be channelled through the World Food Programme, World Bank funds and Ukraine Green Recovery Programme, while the military aid also includes winter supplies such as tents and clothing.

Part of the humanitarian aid will also go to Ukraine’s impoverished neighbour Moldova, which has taken in a large number of Ukrainian refugees and has suffered direct consequences of the war, including a halt in electricity supplies from Ukraine.