On Wednesday 23 February, the European Union imposed new sanctions due to Russia’s actions. On Monday 21 February, Russia announced that it had decided to recognise the separatist Donetsk and Luhansk regions in Eastern Ukraine. Russia’s acts violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Russia’s actions are a grave breach of its international obligations and commitments, including the Minsk Agreements.
As part of the EU, Finland will react to Russia’s actions quickly and in coordination with partner countries. In an extraordinary informal meeting held on 22 February, the EU foreign affairs ministers discussed sanctions and reached a political agreement on how to proceed with sanctions.
The decision adopted today expands the list of persons targeted by sanctions due to actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. These sanctions include the assets freezes and travel and transit restrictions. The individuals added to the sanctions list are political and military decision-makers, media and information actors as well as individuals with economic influence who have been deemed to have actively contributed to policies undermining Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Sanctions will also target individuals who voted in the Russian State Duma to support the recognition of the independence of the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
The EU also adopted new economic sanctions against the non-government controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk. These EU restrictive measures are similar to those that have been in force since 2014 in the regions of Crimea and Sevastopol due to their illegal annexation by Russia. These economic sanctions are part of the new regime of regional sanctions. Extensive export, investment and import bans will be imposed against the regions in question.
New EU sanctions were also imposed against the financial sector. These sanctions prohibit the financing of the Russian Federation, its government and Central Bank as well as individuals or entities acting on their behalf. The sanctions against the financial sector also include asset freezes of three Russian financial institutions as well as a ban on their operations in the EU.
Link to the sanctions regulations published in the Official Journal of the European Union
Marja Liivala, Director General, Department for Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, tel. +358 295 351 727
Ilkka-Pekka Similä, Director General, Department for International Trade (economic sanctions), tel. +358 50 336 3856
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