BRUSSELS, July 17. /ITAR-TASS/. The European Union’s summit in Brussels on Wednesday announced broader sanctions against Russia, the summit’s final communique distributed in Brussels says.
The leaders of 28 EU member states urged Russia to actively use its influence on militiamen in Ukraine’s embattled south-eastern regions in order to push for fast deescalation of the situation, as well as stop the alleged flow of weapons and volunteers across the border.
The EU summit instructed the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, to draft the expansion of the blacklist for Russia and Ukraine by the end of July. The list will include Russian and Ukrainian organizations and individuals who provided material or financial support to actions the communique claims undermine Ukraine’s territorial integrity, including Crimea’s accession to Russia.
The summit also suspended the signing of new financial agreements with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), as well as announced suspension of some European programs of assistance to Russia.
Besides, the summit authorized the European Commission and the European External Action Service to draft proposals to block foreign investment in Crimea’s economy.
As of now, the EU blacklist contains 72 individuals, including Russian politicians and officials, as well as militia leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic. Besides, there are two Crimean companies on that list.
The EU has not made any decisions on sectoral trade and economic sanctions.
US, EU sanctions vs Russia over Ukraine
Western nations have subjected some Russian officials and companies to targeted sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes, following Crimea’s accession to Russia in mid-March.
Despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum on secession from Ukraine was in line with the international law and the UN Charter and in conformity with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008, the West and Kiev have refused to recognize the legality of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
The West, led by the United States, has threatened Russia with further punitive measures, including economic ones, for incorporation of Crimea and what the West claimed was Moscow’s alleged involvement in protests of federalization supporters in Ukraine’s war-torn south-east.
Russia has repeatedly dismissed Western allegations that it could in any way be involved in protests in the south-east of Ukraine, which started after Crimea refused to recognize the authorities propelled to power during a coup in Ukraine in February and reunified with Russia in mid-March after some 60 years as part of Ukraine.