EU imposes fourth round of sanctions on Russia for war

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The European Union announced late Monday that the 27-nation bloc had approved a new round of sanctions to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

France, which holds the EU presidency, said the bloc “in consultation with our international partners, has approved a fourth set of sanctions targeting individuals and entities involved in the aggression against Ukraine, as well as several sectors of the Russian economy”.

The French presidency said in a statement that the bloc had also approved a statement to the World Trade Organization “on the suspension of the application of the most favored nation clause for Russia and the suspension of the examination of Belarus’ application for WTO membership”.

If Russia is suspended, its companies would no longer receive special treatment across the bloc.

The announcements were in line with what the leaders said at the Versailles summit last Friday that a tough set of sanctions would be forthcoming if Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine. The exact details of the latest sanctions package will only be known after publication in the official EU journal.

Since the start of the war last month, the EU has adopted tough measures targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s financial system and its demanding oligarchs. Last week, the bloc countries agreed to impose new sanctions on 160 people and added new restrictions on the export of maritime navigation and radio communication technology.

They also decided to exclude three Belarusian banks from SWIFT, the dominant system for global financial transactions. In total, the EU restrictive measures now apply to a total of 862 people and 53 entities.

In a statement released after the summit, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the fourth sanctions package would further isolate Russia “and drain the resources it uses to finance this barbaric war”.

She said the EU would work closely with the Group of Seven countries to increase pressure against Moscow.

Efforts to agree on an oil boycott against Russia are complicated because some EU countries, including Germany and Italy, are much more dependent on Russian energy than others. Showing the range within the EU, Poland gets 67% of its oil from Russia while Ireland only gets 5%.

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Follow all AP stories about the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine.

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