Wednesday

13th Dec 2017

EU readies new sanctions on defiant Russia

  • Flowers at the Amsterdam airport where the MH17 flight took off (Photo: Javier Santos)

EU ambassadors meeting in Brussels at 9.30 local time on Thursday (24 July) are set to discuss a raft of new sanctions on Russia, as Moscow has shown no signs of wanting to meet an EU ultimatum over Ukraine.

According to a discussion paper seen by the Financial Times, among the sanctions discussed are a ban on Europeans purchasing Russian financial products, restrictions on exporting energy technology items for deep-sea drilling, Arctic exploration and shale oil extraction, as well as an arms embargo and an export ban on goods that have "dual use" - both for civilian and military purposes.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The most detailed measure explored is the financial one, that would prohibit the purchase of Russian bonds or shares issued by any of the Russian banks with more than 50 percent state ownership.

Adoption of these broader economic sanctions would require the agreement of EU leaders. However Berlin, traditionally cautious in moving ahead with sanctions on Russia, indicated it is losing patience with Moscow.

Spokesman Georg Streiter said Chancellor Angela Merkel now wanted "swift" economic sanctions, after Moscow's failure to react EU demands to stop formenting unrest in Ukraine and to ease access to the site of the downed Malaysia Airlines plane.

"Russia has so far promised much and delivered nothing. Enough's enough," a spokeswoman for the German foreign office said, according to Reuters.

EU ambassadors are also set to discuss putting more Russian officials and companies related to the destabilisation of eastern Ukraine on an existing blacklist "at latest by the end of July" as agreed by EU foreign ministers on Tuesday.

At that meeting, foreign ministers said Russia should stop arming the rebels, secure the border to Ukraine and use its influence with the separatists so that international inspectors are granted full access to the crash site of the MH17 plane, believed to have been shot down by the rebels.

The pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine did in the end cooperate and returned the bodies and the blackboxes to the Dutch-led international team.

However, the general situation on the ground appears to have altered little. Two Ukrainian fighter jets were shot down on Wednesday, reportedly from Russian territory.

Political relations remain tense too. Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev pressured Ukraine not to ratify an already signed trade agreement with the EU. A lower-ranking Russian official detailed the potential retaliatory measures if Kiev goes ahead, including a full-blown food import ban.

Meanwhile, one of the leaders of the Ukrainian separatists, Alexander Khodakovsky, told Reuters that another rebel group based in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, did posses the Buk missile system used to shoot down the Malaysia Airlines plane.

“That Buk I know about. I heard about it. I think they sent it back. Because I found out about it at exactly the moment that I found out that this tragedy had taken place. They probably sent it back in order to remove proof of its presence,” Khodakovsky said.

International inspectors at the crash site also found parts of the fuselage that had been cut into pieces by the rebels. The two black boxes handed over earlier this week seem not to have been tampered with, however.

A day of mourning was observed in the Netherlands on Wednesday as the first 40 coffins of the 298 victims, mostly Dutch nationals, were flown in to Eindhoven. Families might have to wait for months still, as the identification process is just beginning and not all bodies have been recovered from the wreckage.

Feature

Lebanon crisis overshadows EU aid for Syrian refugees

Lebanon hosts over one million Syrian refugees, and has received some €1bn in EU funds. Caught in a geo-political tug of war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Lebanon's domestic politics have cast a longer shadow over its Syrian 'guests'.

EU complicit in Libyan torture, says Amnesty

The EU and its members states have signed up to 'Faustian pact' with Libyan authorities in the their effort to prevent migrant and refugee boat departures towards Italy, says Amnesty International.

News in Brief

  1. MEPs vote to allow phosphate additives in kebabs
  2. Babis government sworn in in Czech Republic
  3. Russia looks to crypto-currencies to evade EU sanctions
  4. Juncker embroiled in Luxembourg wire-tapping trial
  5. Kurz close to forming new Austrian right-wing government
  6. Ministers reach deal on fish quotas but overfishing continues
  7. UK parliament to vote on right to veto final Brexit deal
  8. French government rules out Corsican autonomy

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Heart NetworkCommissioner Andriukaitis' Address to EHN on the Occasion of Its 25th Anniversary
  2. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  3. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  4. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  5. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  6. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  7. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  8. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  9. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  10. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties
  11. EPSUEU Blacklist of Tax Havens Is a Sham
  12. EU2017EERole of Culture in Building Cohesive Societies in Europe

Latest News

  1. Brits in EU-27 are uncertain, alone and far from protected
  2. 2018 fishing quotas agreed - but Brexit muddies waters
  3. Medical HQ to spearhead EU military push
  4. Facebook to shift ad revenue away from Ireland
  5. EU renews glyphosate approval, pledges transparency
  6. Romania searching for EU respectability
  7. Last chance for Poland to return property to rightful owners
  8. Commission attacks Tusk on 'anti-European' migrant plan

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ILGA EuropeCongratulations to Austria - Court Overturns Barriers to Equal Marriage
  2. Centre Maurits CoppietersCelebrating Diversity, Citizenship and the European Project With Fundació Josep Irla
  3. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceUnderstanding the Social Consequences of Obesity
  4. Union for the MediterraneanMediterranean Countries Commit to Strengthening Women's Role in Region
  5. Bio-Based IndustriesRegistration for BBI JU Stakeholder Forum about to close. Last chance to register!
  6. European Heart NetworkThe Time Is Ripe for Simplified Front-Of-Pack Nutrition Labelling
  7. Counter BalanceNew EU External Investment Plan Risks Sidelining Development Objectives
  8. EU2017EEEAS Calls for Eastern Partnership Countries to Enter EU Market Through Estonia
  9. Dialogue PlatformThe Turkey I No Longer Know
  10. World Vision7 Million Children at Risk in the DRC: Donor Meeting to Focus on Saving More Lives
  11. EPSU-Eurelectric-IndustriAllElectricity European Social Partners Stand up for Just Energy Transition
  12. European Friends of ArmeniaSignature of CEPA Marks a Fresh Start for EU-Armenia Relations