EU officially adopts anti-Russia sanctions
It has taken the European Union one day only to officially adopt sanctions against 351 members of the Russian state duma and 27 "high profile individuals and entities."
The European Union on Wednesday officially adopted a package of sanctions against Russia over the recognition of self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk.
This comes one day after the EU waived the card of sanctions in the face of Russia, although it was Ukraine that initiated aggression in the region.
"The Council today adopted on a package of measures to respond to the decision by the Russian Federation to proceed with the recognition of the non-government controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine as independent entities, and the subsequent decision to send Russian troops into these areas," the EU said in a press release.
Sanctions are imposed against 351 members of the Russian state duma and 27 "high profile individuals and entities."
"The EU stands ready to swiftly adopt more wide-ranging political and economic sanctions in case of need, and reiterates its unwavering support and commitment to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders," the EU said, and called on Russia to reconsider recognition of the Donbas republics.
"The Council decided to introduce a sectoral prohibition to finance the Russian Federation, its government and Central Bank. By restraining the ability of the Russian state and government to access the EU’s capital and financial markets and services, the EU aims to limit the financing of escalatory and aggressive policies," the statement read.
First round of sanctions on Russia "just the start," UK Minister
On his part, Minister of State for the Commonwealth and United Nations Tariq Ahmad told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday that the first round of the United Kingdom’s sanctions against Russia in response to its recognition of the two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent is just the start, and London has a further package ready to go if Russia continues its course of "aggression".
"Yesterday, the United Kingdom announced new sanctions targeting billions of Russian assets. This is the largest sanctions package against Russia in British history, and is part of our coordinated actions, sanctions efforts alongside our allies," Ahmad said.
"This is just the start. If Russia continues its campaign of aggression, we have a further package of sanctions ready to go. We urge the wider international community to join us in this effort."
Yesterday, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that the EU sanctions against Russia will apply to 351 lawmakers of the Parliament’s Lower House, the State Duma, adding that if the conflict escalates, the EU will impose more sanctions.
Following an informal meeting of EU top diplomats, he said, "Today we have agreed that the 351 members of the Russian State Duma who voted for these violations of the international law and territorial integrity and sovereignty or Ukraine will be listed in our sanctions," adding that the sanctions will also target 27 individuals and legal entities.
"[Sanctions will target] banks that are financing Russian decision-makers and other operations in those territories [Donbas]. We also target economic relations of these two regions and the EU exactly as we did with the Crimea case," Borrell said.