On Tuesday, the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell announced the bloc has agreed to impose sanctions on Russia.
After Moscow's decision to recognize the breakaway republics in eastern Ukraine, the European Union arranged to impose new anti-Russia sanctions, according to the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell's statements on Tuesday.
The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs disclosed that these new sanctions “will hurt Russia and will hurt a lot,” speaking alongside France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. After accusing Russia of “grave violations,” the top EU official said that no further moves by Russia over Ukraine will be “unanswered.”
According to Borrell, the EU will target 27 individuals and entities which are allegedly involved in subverting Ukraine's integrity. All the 351 members of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, will be sanctioned as well, and all those who voted in favor of recognizing the two republics. The diplomat said President Putin is not on the list of people to be sanctioned.
“We will raise the level of sanctions in proportion to Russian behavior,” he added. According to his statements, the package of sanctions would affect the Russian economy, limiting Moscow’s ability to access the EU’s financial markets, but did not go deeper into details. He warned that the sanctions could be tougher depending on Russia's handling of the Ukraine situation.
Le Drian said that despite the sanctions, the bloc is still open to a diplomatic solution to the conflict. “This firm stance leaves the door open to diplomacy. But over the past few weeks, this hard diplomatic work has come to nothing,” France’s top official noted.
On Monday, President Putin ruled the recognition of the two breakaway eastern Ukrainian republics, saying it was a necessary move, intended to protect the inhabitants of the Lugansk and Donetsk cities.
The Russian President stated that, in eight years, the Ukrainian government has shown no will to resolve the internal conflict in Donbas using negotiations, and was instead gearing up for war, he insisted that Kiev has completely given up on the Minsk accords.