EU agrees new sanctions against Russia on second anniversary of war in Ukraine

EU countries agreed on Wednesday to a new package of sanctions against Russia that will target people and companies suspected of helping Moscow in its war against Ukraine, including companies of Chinese origin.

The decision coincides with the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022, and comes days after the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Belgium, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the 27-nation bloc, said, “This package is one of the largest ever approved by the EU.”

Ambassadors from all EU member states agreed to impose sanctions on about 200 companies and individuals, according to several diplomats. The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose details about the sanctions, which have not yet been formally approved.

He claimed that several Chinese companies have been banned on suspicion of providing aid to Russia. Details of the sanctioned entities will be revealed when the sanctions are published in the EU legal journal.

The European Union has imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia after President Vladimir Putin ordered troops to enter Ukraine. The measures have targeted the energy sector, banks, the world’s largest diamond mining company, businesses and markets, and frozen assets and imposed travel bans on their directors.

Diplomats said the new sanctions would escalate trade sanctions against entities linked to Russia’s military industrial complex. Additional sanctions were passed against the export to Russia of high-tech components for drone production.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed delight at the new sanctions package. “We must continue to dismantle Putin’s war machine. With a total of 2,000 listings, we will keep up the pressure on the Kremlin,” he said. “We will further reduce Russia’s access to drones.”

Belgium said the package would go through a drafting process and be formally approved on Saturday, which marks the second anniversary of the war.

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