HANDOUT – 24 February 2022, Russia, Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with Russian business representatives at the Kremlin. Photo: -/Kremlin/dpa – ATTENTION: editorial use only and only if the credit mentioned above is referenced i – -/Kremlin/dpa
Live | Crisis in Ukraine
BRUSSELS, 25 (EUROPE PRESS)
The European Union has agreed to include Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on its blacklist as part of the sanctions that the European bloc will formally adopt this Friday against Moscow for the invasion of Ukraine.
“If there is no surprise and no one objects, Putin and Lavrov will be on the list”, confirmed the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, before the meeting of foreign ministers of the Twenty-seven that will adopt the package of sanctions approved last night by the EU Heads of State and Government.
The measure will come into force from tonight, European diplomatic sources have confirmed. In this way, the EU will freeze the assets of the Russian president in community territory, after Borrell has detailed that the matter was already on the leaders’ table last night, but the unanimity required by the measure was not achieved.
“Since there was no clear consensus, the European Council asked us to find a solution,” he said, assuring that the foreign ministers will certify this step to respond to the large-scale attack against Ukraine.
Although there is a preliminary agreement on this step, the European ministers will discuss whether the sanctions are limited to the freezing of assets or the prohibition of entry into the EU is added, two measures that are always coupled with European sanctions, a diplomatic source has detailed. European Union, pointing to differences among the Twenty-Seven on this point.
The inclusion of Putin and Lavrov in the battery of sanctions has captured the attention before the meeting of the foreign ministers. The German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, has been favorable, while her Austrian colleague, Alexander Schallenberg has confirmed the issue to the press and has assessed the sanctions as the “toughest ever approved by the EU”.
For his part, the Danish Foreign Minister, Jeppe Kofod, has defended imposing the “strongest possible” sanctions against Russia for an unprecedented aggression in modern Europe and has indicated that the objective should be to isolate Putin. His Czech counterpart, Jan Lipavsky, has pointed out that this round of sanctions is “a first step” and has defended that it be a package “as strong as possible”.
The European bloc remains attentive to events in Ukraine and assumes that more rounds of sanctions will come, given the seriousness of the crisis. In this regard, the French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, admitted upon his arrival at the meeting that the package of sanctions formally adopted this Friday “will not be enough”, so the Twenty-seven continue to work on developing of the following phases of coercive measures. He has also confirmed that they are preparing a new round of sanctions against Belarus for the support that the Lukashenko regime gives the Kremlin.
Le Drian lamented that the conflict in the Donbas region was “only a pretext” for Putin to “carry out a fight against democracy and the sovereignty of States” and warned that Europeans must not only act in solidarity with Ukraine but to protect “their own security”.