EU condemns Russian invasion of Ukraine, announces additional sanctions

The Council of the European Union on Thursday condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and announced that it had agreed to an additional package of sanctions against Russia.

“The European Council condemns in the strongest possible terms the Russian Federation’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine,” read a set of conclusions adopted by the council during a special meeting on Thursday. “Russia bears full responsibility for this act of aggression and all the destruction and loss of life it will cause. It will be held accountable for its actions.”

The council asserted that Russia’s invasion violated international law and the principles of the United Nations charter and that the country was “undermining European and global security and stability.”

It also condemned the involvement of Belarus in Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine, asking the country to “abide by its international obligations” and refrain from further military action.

The council announced it had agreed to additional sanctions against Russia due to the invasion.

The sanctions, the council said, “will impose massive and severe consequences on Russia for its action.” They cover the financial sector, energy and transport sectors, dual-use goods, export control and export financings, visa policy, additional listings of Russian individuals and new listing criteria.

In its conclusions, the council also called for the “urgent preparation and adoption” of further sanctions that would cover Belarus.

The council demanded that Russia cease its military actions by withdrawing its forces and weapons from Ukraine. In addition, it urged Russia to stop its “disinformation campaign and cyber-attacks.”

“The package of massive and targeted sanctions approved tonight shows how united the EU is,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrote in Twitter post on Thursday.

“First, this package includes financial sanctions, targeting 70% of the Russian banking market and key state owned companies, including in defence,” she wrote. “Second, we target the energy sector, a key economic area which especially benefits the Russian state. Our export ban will hit the oil sector by making it impossible for Russia to upgrade its refineries.”

“Third: we ban the sale of aircrafts and equipment to Russian airlines,” she continued. “Fourth, we are limiting Russia’s access to crucial technology, such as semiconductors or cutting-edge software.”

“Finally: visas. Diplomats and related groups and business people will no longer have privileged access to the European Union,” she concluded.

This comes after the council on Wednesday approved sanctions against key members of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle as well as a number of other figures involved in Russian politics and media.

— Updated at 10:56 p.m.

Tags European Union Russia Russia-Ukraine conflict sanctions Ukraine Vladimir Putin

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