EU sectoral sanctions against Russia to take effect July 31

EU sectoral sanctions against Russia to take effect July 31
# 30 July 2014 04:43 (UTC +04:00)

The official said the sanctions decision will be approved in a written procedure by the EU Council without convening an extraordinary EU summit.

The written approval procedure is due to be completed Thursday. On the same day, the resolution will enter into force once it is published in the EU's Official Journal, he said.

According to an EU official, the EU is imposing a temporary ban on striking new defense contracts with Russia. The EU will also ban deliveries to Russia of military and dual use products.

The EU’s permanent representatives approved the European Commission’s proposal to close access for Russia’s state banks to financial markets in the EU member states. Besides, the EU will also ban Russian state credit institutions from selling euro-denominated securities and issuing shares for shareholders in the EU.

The new sanctions also envision restrictions for oil industry equipment exports to Russia.

The EU’s sectoral sanctions may be revised in three months.

On July 25, the EU’s Official Journal published a new, sixth, version of the EU’s blacklist of persons who are banned from entry to the EU and whose bank assets in European banks, if any, are to be frozen over "actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine."

A total of 15 individuals and 18 companies were added to the list, including Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Alexander Bortnikov, Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Director Mikhail Fradkov and head of the North Caucasus republic of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov.

The legal entities on the blacklist contain nine companies and nine state and public organizations, including the administrations of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics in Ukraine’s embattled Southeast.

The updated EU blacklist brought the number of people under EU sanctions in connection with the situation in Ukraine to 87 while the number of sanctioned companies or other organizations has risen to 20. Entry to the EU is banned for them until November, their assets in European banks, if any, are to be frozen, and European companies are not allowed to do business with entities on the list.

Western nations subjected some Russian officials and companies to targeted sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes, following Crimea’s incorporation by 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 mass protests in Ukraine’s war-torn Southeast.

Russia has repeatedly dismissed Western allegations that it could in any way be involved in protests in the Southeast 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.

Moscow has rejected the threats of broader sanctions saying the language of penalties is counterproductive and will strike back at Western countries.