EU imposes new sanctions on Russia

The European Union has imposed a new package of economic sanctions against Russia because of its actions in Ukraine. The new sanctions went into effect Friday and targeted Russian oil and defense firms. The latest EU restrictions also imposed sanctions on individuals, including Russian figures and Ukrainian rebels.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy has said the sanctions may be amended, suspended or repealed, in all or in part, after a review of the cease-fire in Ukraine by the end of September.

Russia said it would retaliate to the new sanctions immediately, but did not announce details. In recent days, Russian officials have threatened to ban U.S. airlines from Russian airspace — a move that could force long and costly detours for flights to East Asia.

A summit of EU leaders last week agreed to the new sanctions, but postponed their implementation to observe whether the cease-fire between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists would hold.

The military conflict between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine has been raging since mid-April, claiming thousands of lives. Ukraine and the West have accused Russia of providing the rebels with weapons and recruits.

Moscow has repeatedly denied sending troops and hardware to support the pro-Russian separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine.


(Photo: Sébastien Bertrand)