EU boosts sanctions against Russia

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EU leaders agreed on expanding sanctions against Russia, after Ukraine submitted proof of Russia’s support for the separatists.

The new measures will mainly target Russian companies that undermine Ukrainian sovereignty.

“We expand the restrictive measures, with a view to targeting entities, so not only individuals, as we did until now, – entities “that are materially or financially supporting actions undermining or threatening Ukrainian sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.” Council President Herman Van Rompuy said.

Cutting EU aid and funding programmes for Russia are also part of the new measures adopted by Europe’s heads of states on Wednesday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Moscow had failed to fulfill commitments to restore peace in the region.

“On Ukraine, not much has happened since the visit of the Ukrainian President during the last Council meeting, hostages were not released, borders are not secured, contact group is not meeting. We will discuss new sanctions as the Russian contribution to de-escalation has not been sufficient.” Merkel said.

Europe’s sanctions come after the US government blocked Russian energy companies and banks from the US financial markets.

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