EU-Russia: swift response

Brussels 23.02.2022 EU adopts package of restrictive measures in response to Russian recognition of self-proclaimed Republics, which were areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. The Council today adopted on a package of measures to respond to the decision by the Russian Federation to proceed with the recognition of the “non-government controlled areas” of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine as independent entities, and the subsequent decision to send Russian troops into these areas in accordance with the treaties signed with the representatives of these entities. (Image above: Charles Michel, archive).

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Such decisions are illegal and unacceptable. They violate international law, Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, Russia’s own international commitments and further escalate the crisis.

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
The package agreed today includes:

Targeted restrictive measures:

“Within the existing framework for the restrictive measures, the EU will extend actions to cover all the 351 members of the Russian State Duma (Lower Chamber of Parliament), who voted on 15 February in favour of the appeal to President Putin to recognise the independence of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk ”Republics”.

“Moreover targeted restrictive measures will be imposed on additional 27 high profile individuals and entities, who have played a role in undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. These include decision makers such as members of the government, who were involved in the illegal decisions; banks and business persons/oligarchs supporting financially or materially Russian operations in the Donetsk and Luhansk’s territories, or benefitting from them; senior military officers, who played a role in the invasion and destabilisation actions; and individuals responsible for leading a disinformation war against Ukraine.

“Restrictive measures include an asset freeze and a prohibition from making funds available to the listed individuals and entities. In addition, a travel ban applicable to the listed persons prevents these from entering or transiting through EU territory.

– Restrictions on economic relations with the non-government controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts

“New measures will target trade from the two non-government controlled regions to and from the EU, to ensure that those responsible clearly feel the economic consequences of their illegal and aggressive actions.

“Today’s decision will introduce in particular an import ban on goods from the non-government controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, restrictions on trade and investments related to certain economic sectors, a prohibition to supply tourism services, and an export ban for certain goods and technologies.

– Financial restrictions

“The Council decided to introduce a sectoral prohibition to finance the Russian Federation, its government and Central Bank. By restraining the ability of the Russian state and government to access the EU’s capital and financial markets and services, the EU aims to limit the financing of escalatory and aggressive policies.

“The EU urges Russia to reverse the recognition of the non-government controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, uphold its commitments, abide by international law and return to the discussions within the Normandy format and the Trilateral Contact Group. The EU also calls on other states not to follow Russia’s illegal decision to recognise this proclaimed independence.

“The EU stands ready to swiftly adopt more wide-ranging political and economic sanctions in case of need, and reiterates its unwavering support and commitment to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.

“The relevant legal acts, including the names of the persons concerned, will be published soon in the Official Journal.

Restrictive measures on violations of Ukraine’s territorial integrity will with today’s additional listings apply to a total of 555 individuals and 52 entities.

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