Brussels, Mar 9 (EFE).- The European Union, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, approved Wednesday the imposition of fresh sanctions to include more Russian oligarchs, politicians and their families, and the cutting off of three Belarusian banks from the international SWIFT communication system.
Apart from these recent measures, the representatives of the EU member states also passed sanctions directed at the maritime sector, tweeted the French Presidency of the EU.
The new measures, whose function is to “complement and align” the three rounds of sanctions already adopted and already in force, clarify the issue of cryptocurrencies and complete the list of technologies and goods that cannot be exported, added the French presidency.
These sanctions will enter into force after being formally adopted by the European Council and then published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
The fresh measures were discussed on Friday by the foreign ministers of the EU member states.
Although no decision was taken at that time, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, said more Russian oligarchs would be sanctioned and more banks would be excluded from the SWIFT system.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, the EU has expelled seven Russian banks from the SWIFT system, among them Sberbank – the country’s largest entity – and Gazprombank as they process much of the energy related transactions.
It also froze the Russian Central Bank’s assets on EU territory, sanctioned Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, among other senior government officials, as well as the country’s military leadership.
It also imposed an airspace ban on any aircraft operated by Russian airlines, approved a trade embargo on several sectors of strategic importance to the Russian economy, and suspended EU transmission activities by Russian state media Sputnik and Russia Today.
The EU has progressively imposed sanctions against Russia since 2014 in response to the then illegal annexation of Crimea. EFE