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Ukraine: EU To Impose The ‘Strongest, Harshest Package’ Of Sanctions Ever Implemented

Ukraine: EU To Impose The ‘Strongest, Harshest Package’ Of Sanctions Ever Implemented

News of the sanctions comes after Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion in Ukraine.

The European Union is assessing the 'strongest, harshest package' of sanctions it has ever considered as Russia attacks Ukraine.

Russia has already been hit with a number of sanctions by the West, Japan and Australia for ordering troops into independent, separatist regions in Ukraine earlier this week, but the EU is now considering going further in response to the news of a full-scale invasion.

In a news conference today, February 24, EU Foreign Affairs Policy Chief Josep Borrell said the attack marks 'among the darkest [hours] for Europe since the end of World War Two'.

The conference heard that the EU is considering its harshest-ever package of sanctions on Russia after already having approved a number of sanctions yesterday, including asset freezes and travel bans on 23 people, three banks and an internet 'troll factory' in St Petersburg, The Guardian reports.

The EU was originally expected to discuss further sanctions at a special summit in Brussels this evening.

Speaking today, Borrell said, 'A major nuclear power has (attacked) a neighbour country and is threatening reprisals of any other state that may come to its rescue. This is not only the greatest violation of international law, it's a violation of the basic principles of human co-existence. It's costing many lives with unknown consequences ahead of us.'

An EU diplomat said yesterday that 'everyone seems onboard for the adoption of sanctions'.

James Cleverly, the UK's Europe minister, has said that Vladimir Putin's decision to announce a 'specialised military operation' in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region will also be met with stronger sanctions from the UK government.

Per Sky News, Cleverly said the invasion of Ukraine is 'completely unprovoked and completely unjustified' and that Putin is trying to 'recreate a Russian empire', adding, 'Ukraine is not Russia.'

Existing sanctions against Russia include US blocks on two of Russia’s state-owned banks to prevent them from trading in its debt on US and European markets; sanctions against five Russian banks and three Russian billionaires enforced by the UK and a halt by Germany on the process of certifying the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia.

Vladimir Putin (Alamy)
Vladimir Putin (Alamy)

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss confirmed the UK was 'prepared to go much further if Russia does not pull back from the brink', saying before the full-scale invasion that the UK would 'curtail the ability of the Russian state and Russian companies to raise funds in our markets, prohibit a range of high tech exports, and further isolate Russian banks from the global economy'.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said the EU plans to target strategic sectors of the Russian economy by blocking access to key technologies and markets. 

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Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: World News, Politics, Vladimir Putin, Russia, UK News