EU to sanction Russian president, foreign minister

EU foreign ministers gather in Brussels to officially adopt bloc’s latest sanctions package against Russia.

EU to sanction Russian president, foreign minister

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will be on the EU’s new sanctions list “if there are no surprises” in today's meeting, the EU top diplomat confirmed on Friday.

EU foreign ministers gathered in Brussels on Friday to officially adopt the bloc’s latest sanctions package against Russia after EU leaders reached a political deal early morning.

The package will include financial sanctions targeting 70% of the Russian banking sector and key state-owned companies, as well as restrictions on trade related to the energy sector, aviation, and cutting-edge technology.

The bloc is also expected to change visa rules, restricting the entry of government-related business people.

Speaking to reporters on his way to the meeting, Josep Borrell admitted that he “personally” is “very much in favor” of sanctioning Putin and Lavrov, but the final decision is for EU foreign ministers to take.

He said that EU leaders could not reach a consensus on the matter last night, and tasked him to present a compromise.

“Let’s be honest, the Donbas was only a pretext for Russia to launch this brutal attack on Ukraine,” French top diplomat Jean-Yves Le Drian said before the meeting.

He further stated that it is, in reality, “Putin’s combat against democracy, the sovereignty of states.”

Le Drian added that EU sanctions should mostly target oligarchs, and Belarus also needs to be included in the sanctions package.

The EU Wednesday adopted the first package of sanctions against Russia for violating Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

The measures target among others Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, two deputy prime ministers, high-ranking military officials, and 351 members of the State Duma, lower house of Russian parliament.

Putin announced a military intervention in Ukraine on Thursday just days after recognizing two separatist-held enclaves in eastern Ukraine. The recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk drew international condemnation and announcements of tougher sanctions on Moscow.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Şubat 2022, 19:57

Hüseyin Demir

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