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EU approves sanctions on Russia “unanimously”

The head of European Union diplomacy announced this Tuesday the unanimous approval of the 27 member states of a package of sanctions against Russia, aimed at “hitting and hard” the Russian authorities, after recognition of separatist territories in eastern Ukraine.

“Due to this situation, today, European countries responded quickly […] and reached a unanimous agreement among the 27 member states to adopt a sanctions package that I presented to the Council after long hours of negotiations”, he announced. Josep Borrell, speaking at a press conference in Paris, after an informal meeting called urgently the day before to discuss the imposition of sanctions on Russia.

Stressing that “this is a particularly dangerous time for Europe”, the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy pointed out that this package of sanctions “will hit Russia and hit a lot”.

“We are in strong coordination with our partners, the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, with whom I have been in close contact during these hours”, said Josep Borrell, threatening to “increase the level of sanctions substantially depending on Russian behavior”.

Specifically, the sanctions approved today cover 27 individuals and entities and 350 members of the lower house of the Russian parliament (Duma), as Lusa had already advanced.

As for financial sanctions, restrictions on the EU’s economic relations with the two breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk are foreseen, as well as the freezing of assets of two private Russian banks, specified Josep Borrell.

Speaking on the occasion on behalf of the French presidency of the Council of the EU, the French Minister for Foreign Affairs highlighted that “the situation is serious or very serious”, which is why “the 27 Member States have reached an agreement” on the sanctions package.

The informal meeting of the heads of European diplomacy took place after a meeting organized by the French Presidency on relations between the Union and the countries of the Indo-Pacific region.

There is now a meeting of Member States’ ambassadors to the EU, for the final approval of the sanctions package, later today.

Von der Leyen promises EU will make life as difficult as possible for the Kremlin

Source: With Agencies

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