First EU and US sanctions imposed on Russia
The USA and Europe have responded to Moscow's latest escalation in the Ukraine crisis with a raft of sanctions.
Washington/Brussels/Moscow (dpa) – Following Putin’s decision, the EU and the USA immediately set in motion far-reaching sanctions against Russia. The new EU sanctions include placing those 351 members of the Russian parliament on the sanctions list who voted for the recognition of the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics. In addition, sanctions are being imposed on 27 other individuals and organisations.
In addition, the Russian state's access to EU financial markets is to be curtailed and EU trade with the breakaway regions restricted. For the time being, no EU sanctions have been imposed on Putin personally, as EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell confirmed on Tuesday evening after a special meeting of EU foreign ministers in Paris. He explained that this decision had been taken in order to keep further measures in reserve.
The US government announced sanctions against two major Russian banks, against trading in Russian government bonds and against supporters of Putin and their families. Biden stressed that the US is prepared to take even tougher steps if Russia continues to press ahead with its crackdown on Ukraine. A US government official said that in that case "no Russian financial institution is safe". Likewise, export controls could follow. Russia's exclusion from the international payment system Swift would also be possible in the event of an escalation, the official said.
The United Kingdom and Canada also announced punitive measures against Russia. In its turn, the German government put the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline on ice for the time being, which means that Putin will miss out on deals worth billions for the time being.
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