Live | Crisis in Ukraine
BRUSSELS, 25 (EUROPE PRESS)
The countries of the European Union approved this Friday sanctions against Russia for the large-scale attack against Ukraine, in a battery that includes restrictions on banks, energy, finance, exports, transport and visa policy, in addition to personal sanctions against the president. Russian, Vladimir Putin, and the Russian Foreign Minister, Serguei Lavrov.
“President Putin and Minister Lavrov are on the list together with the members of the Duma who have supported the aggression and members of the Security Council”, confirmed the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, at a press conference. press after the extraordinary meeting of foreign ministers that has adopted the package of sanctions.
The inclusion of the Russian president, known shortly before the meeting of foreign ministers, has been described by the High Representative as an “important step”. Only the Syrian president, Bashar al Assad, and the Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, are subject to punitive measures.
The measures will come into force from tonight when they are published in the Official Journal of the EU, European diplomatic sources have confirmed.
“And we are not stopping here. We have adopted a proposal to sanction all those who give significant support to the Russian regime,” he stressed, emphasizing that the EU is punishing Russian oligarchs for the first time. Specifically, 26 individuals who support and benefit from the Russian regime.
Regarding the possibility of disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT transfer system, Borrell has opened up to adopting this measure later, although he has said that a new round of sanctions cannot be expected in a matter of days.
“It is not in the package but it is on the table for future consideration,” he said, admitting that at the moment there is no consensus among member states.
The foreign ministers have spoken by videoconference with their Ukrainian counterpart, Dimitro Kuleba, who has conveyed to them Kiev’s will to resist the Russian offensive, as reported by several European ministers at the end of the meeting.
ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL SANCTIONS
This is the second round of sanctions adopted by the EU in recent days in response to the Russian military attack against Ukraine and which comes after the first measures against the recognition of the rebel republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.
The European sanctions seek to tear the Russian economy to shreds, with restrictions on Russian exports and the blocking of technology transfers, which aims to prevent Moscow from refining the crude it then imports to Europe, a sector that generated 24 billion euros in 2019.
The Twenty-seven also adopt controls on the trade of technological and communications elements, which will have important implications in the military sector.
Five banking entities, the private Alfa Bank and Bank Otkritie, and the state-owned Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank, Russian Agricultural Bank and VEB will see their operations blocked in the EU and access to credit to state entities will be prevented, which together with the obstacles Russia’s access to the European capital market will hamper its economic growth and erode the industrial base.
In a move against Russian elites allied with the Putin regime, the European bloc will control deposits of more than 100,000 euros in accounts in Europe and their movements related to company shares.
In terms of transport, the EU imposes a veto on the export, sale and transfer of aircraft and aeronautical equipment, in addition to aircraft rental services.
For the moment, the battery of European sanctions does not include a veto on the market for luxury products such as the diamond sector, after diplomatic sources have pointed out the lack of political agreement to take that step.