The EU proposes to ban Moscow’s access to its markets and financial services

NATO holds emergency meeting with Ukraine after Russian recognition of Donetsk and Lugansk rebels

Boris Johnson announces sanctions on five Russian banks and three people after the invasion of Ukraine

The EU wants to quickly impose sanctions following Russia’s recognition of the independence of Ukraine’s breakaway regions. The Union has proposed this Tuesday to prohibit the Russian authorities from accessing European markets and financial services and targeting banks that finance Russian military operations in Ukraine’s breakaway regions whose independence Moscow has recognized, according to a statement from the Commission and the European Council.

The president Von der Leyen has assured that they intend to prevent trade between the two separatist regions recently recognized by Russia and the EU, “to ensure that those responsible clearly suffer the economic consequences of their illegal and aggressive actions against the unity of Ukraine.” Von der Leyen and Michel agree in noting the “firm unity” of the member states and their “determination” to react with “speed and forcefulness” to the actions of the Kremlin and support the coordination work of the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell. The recognition of the self-proclaimed republics in eastern Ukraine is the latest episode in the escalation of tensions between Moscow and the EU over the security crisis in eastern Europe.

urgent NATO meeting

The meeting has been called urgently this Tuesday and on behalf of Kiev, the Ukrainian ambassador to NATO, Natalia Galibarenko, will attend, allied sources have informed Europa Press. The Secretary General of the Atlantic Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, condemned this Monday the recognition of the separatist entities by the Russian Government and pointed out that the decision “erodes the efforts” to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine. In addition, Stoltenberg pointed out that the maneuver undermines the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia, in addition to violating the Minsk Agreements –the ‘road map’ agreed to achieve a political solution to the conflict in Ukraine–, of which Moscow forms part. “Donetsk and Lugansk are part of Ukraine”, assured the Secretary General of NATO, who in a statement recalled that in 2015 the NATO Security Council, which includes Russia, reaffirmed its “full respect” for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the European country.
On the table will be reinforced support for Ukraine after Putin ordered the Russian Armed Forces to enter the newly recognized Donetsk and Lugansk regions. The decree itself signed on Monday by Putin for the recognition of both entities provides for the deployment of Russian soldiers within the framework of a “peacekeeping mission”.
The UK has also announced that it will “hit Russia with a first barrage” of economic sanctions, as Boris Johnson has repeated in parliament that Vladimir Putin is hell-bent on a “full-scale invasion of Ukraine.” Among the measures announced by Johnson are sanctions on five Russian banks and three wealthy Russian oligarchs. Bank sanctions apply to Rossiya, IS Bank, General Bank, Promsvyazbank and Black Sea Bank. The three oligarchs, whom Johnson described as “very close to the Putin regime” and “friends” of the Russian president, are Gennady Timchenko, Boris Rotenberg and his brother Igor Rotenberg.

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