EU Council approves new package of sanctions against Russia

The Council of the European Union approved a new package of sanctions against Russia, TASS reports citing EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell. According to him, restrictive measures have been introduced against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

“We included today in [санкционный] list of President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov,” he said, noting that the EU Council approved the second package of personal and economic sanctions against Russia, imposed after the recognition of the DPR and LPR and the start of military operations in Ukraine.

Earlier, the press service of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans to impose sanctions against Vladimir Putin and Sergey Lavrov following a conversation between the head of government and the leaders of NATO countries.

Press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov said earlier that Russia would take retaliatory measures against the sanctions of the United States and European countries. “How symmetrical or asymmetrical they are will depend on the analysis, all these restrictions will have to be analyzed, and, of course, during this analysis, the main goal will be our own interests,” he added.

On February 24, the United States, Canada and Great Britain announced tough sanctions against Russia after the announcement of a Russian special operation in the Donbass. According to the US Department of the Treasury, VTB, FC Otkritie, Novikombank and one private bank, Sovcombank, fell under blocking sanctions. This means freezing their US assets and banning all US companies from working with them. VTB came under similar sanctions from the UK.

Also, all US financial institutions were ordered to close correspondent accounts with Sberbank within 30 days, the US Treasury Department said. 11 state-owned companies (several state-owned banks, Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Transneft, Rostelecom, etc.) were restricted from entering the US capital market. This list also includes private Alfa-Bank and Moscow Credit Bank (MKB).

Later, the leaders of the EU member states agreed to introduce new sanctions against Russia after the start of a special operation in the Donbass. The restrictions will affect the financial sector, energy, transport, dual-use goods and visa policy. In addition, on February 24, US President Joe Biden announced restrictions on high-tech exports to Russia from the United States and its allies, noting that this would also affect the modernization of the Russian army and the space industry.

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