European leaders have agreed to a second wave of sanctions against Russia

Brussels – European leaders met early on Friday to discuss the Russian economy and President Vladimir V. Following Putin’s progress in the invasion of Ukraine, the Russian economy and President Vladimir V.

Mr. of Russia. Putin and his foreign minister, Sergei V. One of the decisions was to freeze Lavrov’s assets, but three EU ambassadors and officials familiar with the EU’s draft sanctions said on Friday that they should not be banned from traveling.

The constituency was able to expel 27 members The first set of obstacles Mr. separatist areas in Ukraine. On Wednesday, in response to Putin’s approval, they did so in record time.

But the second set of penalties, which they described as unprecedented for the EU in size and scope, was as difficult to form as consensus. Approached Kiev, The capital of Ukraine, and the war in Europe is no longer theoretical, but a catastrophic reality.

Europe’s economies are deeply intertwined with Russia’s, and if the EU leans into Russian sanctions, its own members will feel the pain. Severe sanctions could derail even a temporary recovery from a two-year epidemic-induced recession.

That is why the negotiators left the table with difficult elements such as imposing sanctions on the oil and gas companies or banning Russia from the SWIFT. Wheat.

EU officials say Europe is using it to pay for gas it buys from Russia.

Experts say the approved sanctions are tough and the pace at which the EU is moving is interesting. But given the dramatic progress that has been made in Ukraine, some have criticized the leaders for not going any further.

“This morning, we are only defending our state,” he said. “Just like yesterday, the most powerful forces in the world are watching from a distance. Did yesterday’s sanctions convince Russia? It is not enough that we hear in our heavens and see in our earth.

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The head of the European Commission, Ursula van der Leyen, the executive branch of the camp, which has done hard technical work behind the sanctions, said on Friday morning that sanctions would affect the Russian economy’s ability to function due to starvation of key technology and financial access.

“Now we must meet the moment. We will hold the Kremlin accountable. After a six-hour meeting beginning Thursday evening, the set of massive and targeted sanctions approved by European leaders tonight clearly demonstrates that.

“This will have the maximum impact on the Russian economy and political elite,” he added.

Its most ambitious components are highly technical: the EU will ban the export of aircraft and spare parts needed for the maintenance of the Russian navy. Mrs. Van der Leyen said three-quarters of the aircraft in the Russian Air Force were manufactured in the European Union, the United States or Canada, and that many of these operations would land soon.

The consortium will also ban the export of specialized oil refining technology and semiconductors, and will impose fines on more banks – stopping to target VTB, Russia’s second largest bank, which has already been shut down by US and British sanctions. According to a draft describing the fines seen in The New York Times.

The EU will also further target the Russian elite by reducing access to EU visas for embassy and service passport holders, and will restrict the ability of Russian citizens to deposit up to 100,000 euros (approximately $ 112,000) in European bank accounts.

Camp leaders blessed the sanctions package at their meeting, but its details and legal language were to be developed by EU ambassadors and foreign ministers on Friday.

However, many European member states, including the United States and Ukraine, do not have the elements they want to add.

One such move was to reduce Russia’s access to the SWIFT, which the United States and Canada were prepared to take. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba made the request during a meeting of EU leaders on Thursday, but the EU refused.

President Biden said the move was not off the table. “This has always been an option. But for now, that is not the position other parts of Europe want to take,” he told reporters on Thursday.

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The Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, who took one of the most difficult steps among EU leaders in imposing sanctions on Russia, said he and others were pushing for the inclusion of SWIFT.

“Many colleagues have appealed to the SWIFT,” he said.

This federation is Mr. Putin and his foreign minister, Mr. While imposing sanctions on Lavrov, it froze their assets in the EU, a move that was largely symbolic; Most top Russians use intricate structures to hide their assets in closely regulated EU banks, and it is generally difficult to obtain beneficiary ownership of assets and accounts.

Despite Britain’s long-discussed measures to impose fines on oligarchs on Thursday, EU leaders have agreed to change the legal language in the embargo package in the future, under pressure from allies. .

How Europe’s Sanctions Against Russia Are Emerging

On the other side were neighboring countries such as Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Russia and Ukraine and the Nordic members of the European Union and the Netherlands. They do not want to break the sanctions into small packages, but will attack Mr Putin with major economic measures.

The Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki spoke in a blunt statement on behalf of many of them when he arrived for a meeting in Brussels on Thursday evening.

“Talking is cheap. This cheap talk is enough and the innocence and pettiness around us is enough, ”he said. “We buy Europe, the European Union, a lot of Russian gas, a lot of Russian oil. President Putin is taking money from us, the Europeans, and he is turning it into aggression.

Monica Bronch Contributed report.

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