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EU permanent reps to consider economic sanctions against Russia

July 29, 2014, 3:55 UTC+3 BRUSSELS

The package includes restrictions in the banking sector, supplies of defense products and dual technologies, and restrictions on the extension of energy sector innovative technologies to Russia

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BRUSSELS, July 29 /ITAR-TASS/. EU Council meets in Brussels on Tuesday at the level of permanent representatives member-states to consider economic sanctions against Russia.

Jonathan Todd, the official spokesman for the European Commission, said the case in hand was restrictions in the banking sector, supplies of defense products and dual technologies, and restrictions on the extension of energy sector innovative technologies to Russia.

Todd recalled that the European Commission had drafted the necessary legal groundwork for the introduction of these restrictive measures. On the same day European Council president Hermann Van Rompuy sent out a letter to all the leaders of the EU asking them to empower their ambassadors to the EU to enact sanctions against Russia without convening a new emergency summit.

This means that two decisions are to be taken Tuesday. In the first place, the ambassadors will either speak out in support of the whole package of sanctions or hand it over to the European Commission for finalization.

Secondly, the ambassadors will decide on whether the sanctions can be introduced by a formal written procedure or this will require a new EU summit. If they choose the written option, the relevant measures can then be taken as early as next week.

Well-informed sources say the package initially included provisional restrictions of providing separate types of financial or banking services to Russia, the signing of new contracts in the defense sector and the sales of dual technologies, as well as a ban on the extension of new technologies and the sales of high-tech equipment in the oil and gas sector.

The presence of natural gas in these proposals caused a number of objections at a meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives last Friday. A source told Itar-Tass Van Rompuy proposed to suspend the extension of new technologies to Russia only in the sphere of oil production and not in the entire energy sector.

Thus the technologies related to natural gas production will not fall under the sanctions and this will lift one of the biggest problems in the way of their endorsement, the diplomat said.

On Monday, the EU permanent representatives agreed on a new expansion of the blacklists for Russia and Ukraine. The committee agreed to blacklist the individuals and corporations supporting Russian politicians or drawing benefits from connections with them.

The individuals and corporations on the lists cannot hold financial transactions in the West and their bank accounts are frozen. The individuals cannot obtain EU entry visas.

In addition to this, the EU agreed on sanctions against several organizations, which the EU believes to be responsible for what it views as encroachments on the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

The committee came to terms on additional measures, which it hopes will restrict commerce with and inflow of investment in Crimea and Sevastopol, the two new constituent territories of the Russian Federation.

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