Following Russia’s latest moves against Ukraine, the EU will impose sanctions on Russian lawmakers, military officers, and banks, the bloc’s foreign policy chief said Tuesday.
Josep Borrell spoke about the coming sanctions in an interview with public broadcaster Franceinfo following Russia’s Monday recognition of Ukraine’s breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Borrell said the sanctions would affect Russian lawmakers who helped recognize the independence of the separatist-held territories along with Russian military officials and banking and financial institutions.
After a speech late Monday saying Russia would recognize as independent the breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine, Putin announced that Russia would send troops to those areas in order to “maintain peace.”
The announcements drew widespread global condemnation as violations of the UN Charter and international law, with Western countries vowing to impose harsh new sanctions.
In 2014, after invading Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, Moscow began to support separatist forces in eastern Ukraine against the central government, a policy that it has maintained for the past seven years. The conflict has taken more than 13,000 lives, according to the UN.
Putin’s latest moves follow Russia amassing some 100,000 troops and heavy equipment in and around its neighbor, with the US and Western countries accusing it of setting the stage for an invasion.
Russia has denied it is preparing an invasion and instead claims Western countries undermined its security through NATO’s expansion towards its borders.
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