EU places Putin on sanctions list after Ukraine invasion

European Union also agrees to place Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on its list of sanctioned individuals


Reuters February 26, 2022
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borell delivers a speech on the situation at the Ukrainian border, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France December 14, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

BRUSSELS:

The European Union has agreed to place Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on its list of sanctioned individuals following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Friday.

"Let me flag that the only leaders in the world that are sanctioned by the European Union are Assad from Syria, Lukashenko from Belarus and now Putin from Russia," Borrell told a news conference after a meeting of EU foreign ministers to settle details of the bloc's sanctions.

Earlier, the European Union imposed a “package of massive and targeted sanctions” on Russia.

Sanctions were slapped on Russia’s financial, energy and transport sectors. Visa restrictions and export controls were also imposed, with access blocked to technologies.

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“The package of massive and targeted sanctions approved tonight shows how united the EU is,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at a joint press conference following the special meeting of the European Council on the situation in Ukraine. She was flanked by European Council President Charles Michel and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Giving details, Von der Leyen said in a tweet: “First, this package includes financial sanctions, targeting 70% of the Russian banking market and key state-owned companies, including in defence."

“Second, we target the energy sector, a key economic area which especially benefits the Russian state,” she added. “Our export ban will hit the oil sector by making it impossible for Russia to upgrade its refineries.”

“Third, we ban the sale of aircraft and equipment to Russian airlines,” she said.

“Fourth, we are limiting Russia's access to crucial technology, such as semiconductors or cutting-edge software,” she added.

“Finally, visas,” she said. “Diplomats and related groups and business people will no longer have privileged access to the European Union.”

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Von der Leyen added that the measures are closely coordinated with partners and allies such as the US, UK, Canada, Norway, South Korea, Japan, and Australia.

For his part, Michel said that during the meeting they also addressed how they can support the Ukrainian people and Ukraine by mobilising financing capacities and humanitarian support.

“We also heard during the European Council meeting an address by Ukrainian President (Volodymyr Zelenskyy). It was a grave and dignified moment,” he said. “The president showed a lot of sang-froid and was very frank when he delivered his message in the very difficult and painful circumstances Ukraine is going through.”

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