News / Europe

EU Approves Framework, Wording for Russia Sanctions

A member of a delegation takes a photo with his cellphone of the Ukrainian and EU flags after an EU summit in Brussels, March 6, 2014.
A member of a delegation takes a photo with his cellphone of the Ukrainian and EU flags after an EU summit in Brussels, March 6, 2014.
Reuters
— EU member states have agreed the wording of sanctions on Russia, including travel restrictions and asset freezes against those responsible for violating the sovereignty of Ukraine, according to a draft document seen by Reuters.
 
The seven-page document describes in detail the restrictive measures to be taken against Moscow if it does not reverse course in Crimea and begin talks with international mediators on efforts to resolve the crisis over Ukraine.
 
If approved by EU foreign ministers at a meeting on Monday, they would be the first sanctions imposed by the European Union against Russia since the end of the Cold War, marking a severe deterioration in East-West relations.
 
“Member states shall take the necessary measures to prevent the entry into, or transit through, their territories of the natural persons responsible for actions which undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine,” reads Article 1 of the document.
 
The second article covers assets held in the European Union and states that “all funds and economic resources belonging to, owned, held or controlled” by those responsible for actions which have undermined Ukraine's integrity “shall be frozen”.
 
The document was approved by what is known as a silence procedure after no EU member states raised objections to the wording by 1100 GMT on Wednesday, officials said.
 
EU foreign ministers meet in Brussels on Monday and are expected to formally sign off on the restrictions, unless there is a dramatic change of course by Russia. That seems unlikely, with no indication of any 'de-escalation' in Crimea.
 
A referendum in Crimea on Sunday is expected to see the region vote in favor of secession from Ukraine to join Russia, adding weight to calls for an international response.
 
Names still needed
 
While the EU has agreed the wording for its sanctions, it is still working on the names of those to be targeted.
 
Discussions took place in London on Tuesday, when officials from Britain, the United States, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and elsewhere met to discuss the issue.
 
“My understanding is that there was detailed discussion of names at the meeting,” an EU official said. “No definitive list has been drawn up, but it will be ready by Monday.”
 
European officials have indicated that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, will not be on the list, so that channels of communication can be kept open and further escalation is possible at a later date.
 
Instead the list - an annex to the sanctions document seen by Reuters - is expected to focus on targets close to Putin in the security services and military establishment as well as on prominent members of the Russian parliament.
 
“The annex shall also contain, where available, the information necessary to identify the natural or legal persons, entities or bodies concerned,” reads the sanctions framework.
 
“With regard to legal persons and entities, such information may include names, place and date of registration, registration number and place of business.”
 
The EU and United States are coordinating on imposing the restrictions and have encouraged other countries, including Canada, Japan, Turkey and Switzerland, to take similar measures to maximize the impact.
 
If Russia does not respond to the pressure, the EU has said it is prepared to take further steps, probably involving an arms embargo and other trade-related measures. It could also apply sanctions on Putin himself.
 
The crisis began after Russia moved troops into Crimea in late February and effectively seized the peninsula after the popular overthrow of former president Viktor Yanukovich, an ally of Moscow who is now in exile in Russia.

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid