Brussels announces first proposals for sanctions against Russia. Scholz: Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline cannot continue

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EU foreign ministers will discuss a package of sanctions against Russia on Tuesday with a view to enforcing it as soon as possible, the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission said in a statement outlining measures against Moscow.

The decision of the Russian Federation to recognise as independent entities and send Russian troops to certain areas of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts is illegal and unacceptable. It violates international law, Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, Russia’s own international commitments and it further escalates the crisis.

Both Presidents welcome the steadfast unity of Member States and their determination to react with robustness and speed to the illegal actions of Russia in close coordination with international partners.

An informal meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers chaired by the High Representative will take place today at 4 pm. Following that, a first package of sanctions will be formally tabled later this afternoon. Appropriate bodies will then meet to finalise the package without delay,” reads the statement.

The package contains proposals:

  • to target those who were involved in the illegal decision,
  • to target banks that are financing Russian military and other operations in those territories,
  • to target the ability of the Russian state and government to access the EU’s capital and financial markets and services, to limit the financing of escalatory and aggressive policies,
  • and to target trade from the two breakaway regions to and from the EU, to ensure that those responsible clearly feel the economic consequences of their illegal and aggressive actions.

“The EU has prepared and stands ready to adopt additional measures at a later stage if needed in the light of further developments.

Both Presidents supported by the High Representative continue to follow closely developments on the ground and consult with fellow EU leaders and international counterparts.

The Union remains in full solidarity with Ukraine and united in support for its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

We stand by and will continue to support Ukraine and its people,” the Brussels’ statement concludes.

German Chancellor Scholz: Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline cannot continue

Previously, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had announced that Nord Stream 2 certification cannot continue, given Russia’s latest actions.

The pipeline between Russia and Germany was completed in September last year, but is not yet operational.

On Tuesday morning, German Energy Minister Robert Habeck decided to withdraw the application for a Russia-Germany pipeline permit. “Without this certification, Nord Stream 2 cannot come into operation,” Scholz told a news conference in Berlin.

Moreover, British PM Boris Johnson had announced sanctions against five Russian banks: Rossiya, IS Bank, General Bank, Promsvyazbank and the Black Sea Bank.

The Prime Minister has also sanctioned three “high net worth” individuals: Gennadiy Timchenko, Boris Rotenberg and Igor Rotenberg.

“Any assets they hold in the UK will be frozen, the individuals concerned will be banned from travelling here and we will prohibit all UK individuals and entities from having any dealings with them,” Johnson said, BBC reports, adding that further sanctions are to be decided.

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