The first EU sanctions against Russia over Ukraine were prepared with minimal damage to Europe, which is ready to impose new sanctions to continue the pressure, said the President of the European Council Charles Michel.

“We calibrated the first sanctions so that they were more painful for the Russian authorities and less effective for us. We must continue our pressure to change the balance of power. We have other additional sanctions in store,” he said in an interview with la Repubblica newspaper.

Michel did not specify what new measures are under consideration by the EU, but noted that “until now” Europe has managed to “catch Moscow by surprise.” He added that “we hope to continue this.”

According to him, European leaders have discovered “a new consciousness and a change in the way of thinking” after the events in Ukraine.

“We have decided that national issues, such as energy and defense, will be considered in the spirit of European sovereignty,” Michel said, comparing the latest EU decisions on defense and economy with the “Copernican revolution.”