EU Foreign Minister: European Sanctions to Hit Russian Gov't’s Access to Capital, Financial Markets

© REUTERS / Jean-Francois Badias/PoolFILE PHOTO: Josep Borrell, vice president of the European Commission in charge of coordinating the external action of the European Union, delivers a speech at the European Parliament, in Strasbourg, France, June 8, 2021
FILE PHOTO: Josep Borrell, vice president of the European Commission in charge of coordinating the external action of the European Union, delivers a speech at the European Parliament, in Strasbourg, France, June 8, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.02.2022
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Earlier, the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission announced that the EU would sanction several Russian banks and restrict the Russian state's access to the EU's financial markets over Moscow’s decision to recognise the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR) on 21 February.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has announced a list of sanctions that the EU is planning to slap on Russia over its decision to recognise the two Donbass republics – the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR).
According to him, the bloc will limit the Russian state and government’s access to the European capital and financial markets. The EU top diplomat further promised Russian banks that "financed" Russia's decision on recognising DPR and LPR, and its operations in Donbass, will also face sanctions.
In total, some 27 persons and entities outside of the Russian government will be slapped with sanctions.
Borrell added that the sanctions against Russia can be extended, should the conflict in Donbass escalate further. The top EU diplomat did not clarify whether it will include an escalation by Kiev's forces – the cause of the recent hostilities along the contact line in Donbass and the catalyst of Moscow's decision to recognise the DPR and LPR on 21 February.

Sanctions Against Russian Parliament, But Not President

Apart from targeting banks and financial market access, the EU will also introduce a number of personal sanctions against Russian government officials engaged in passing the decision to recognise the Donbass republics, Borrell indicated. A total of 351 lawmakers from the Russian parliament's lower chamber, the State Duma, will be hit with sanctions.
At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin will not come under EU sanctions, Borrell said.
On 21 February, Putin held an extraordinary meeting with members of the Russian Security Council to discuss the rapidly deteriorating situation in Donbass, which the Ukrainian Armed Forces had been shelling for several days. He also requested the council's opinion on calls from the two republics to recognise their independence.
During the consultations, several top Russian officials and ministers expressed the opinion that Kiev would implement the Minsk agreements and that the Ukrainian authorities had chosen to resolve the conflict in the east by military force – a prospect that Moscow repeatedly warned the international community about for years.
Several hours after the Security Council meeting, President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would recognise the DPR and LPR and sign friendship treaties with them. The treaties include provisions that allow Moscow to deploy a peacekeeping contingency on the territory of the DPR and LPR. The Russian parliament's upper chamber voted to grant Putin the authority to deploy troops abroad on 22 February in a unanimous vote.
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