EU’s new sanctions against Russia – details

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has announced details of new sanctions against Russia approved by EU leaders following the February 24 invasion of Ukraine ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The sanctions, which Von der Leyen would have “maximum impact” on the Russian economy and political elite, are in five areas – financial, energy, transport, export controls and a ban on export financing, and visa policy.

Von der Leyen said that the package includes financial sanctions that cut Russia’s access to the most important capital markets.

“We are now targeting 70 per cent of the Russian banking market, but also key state-owned companies, including the field of defence. These sanctions will increase Russia’s borrowing costs, raise inflation and gradually erode Russia’s industrial base,” Von der Leyen said.

“We are also targeting the Russian elite by curbing their deposits so that they cannot hide their money anymore in safe havens in Europe,” she said.

The export ban will hit the oil by making it impossible for Russia to upgrade its oil refineries, which gave Russia export revenues of 24 billion euro in 2019, Von der Leyen said.

The EU is banning the sale of all aircraft, spare parts and equipment to Russian airlines.

“This will degrade the key sector of Russia’s economy and the country’s connectivity,” Von der Leyen said.

“Three quarters of Russia’s current commercial air fleet were built in the European Union, the US and Canada. And therefore, they are massively depending on that.”

The EU leaders agreed to limit Russia’s access to crucial technology.

“We will hit Russia’s access to important technologies it needs to build a prosperous future – such as semiconductors or cutting-edge technologies,” Von der Leyen said.

On visa policy, Von der Leyen said that Russian diplomats and related groups, and business people will no longer have privileged access to the European Union.

“As always, these measures are closely coordinated with our partners and allies,” Von der Leyen said.

“These are, of course, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Norway, but now also joined by South Korea, Japan or, for example, Australia.

“Our unity is our strength. The Kremlin knows this. And it has tried its best to divide us, but it has utterly failed,” she said.

(Screenshot of Von der Leyen via the EC Audiovisual Service)

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