EU Follows US in Expanding Sanctions to Russia

European Union leaders on Wednesday agreed to expand the bloc's sanctions to include Russian and Ukrainian companies that are helping destabilize eastern Ukraine or supporting Russian "decision makers" responsible for turmoil in the country.

Censor.NET reports about it, citing the Wall Street Journal. The agreement appears to allow a significant expansion of sanctions against Russia that would ensnare a broader group of Russian officials and businessmen.

Read also: US Introduces New Sanctions Against Russia including its Largest Companies

Wednesday's agreement allows sanctions against people or companies who "actively provide material or financial support to the Russian decision makers responsible for the annexation of Crimea or the destabilization of Eastern Ukraine," according to a statement released by the leaders.

The leaders agreed to slap asset freezes on companies and other entities that are "materially or financially" supporting the separatists in eastern Ukraine, according to the statement. European Union sanctions until now have targeted individuals and, in a few cases, the companies they directly control.

Read also: Poroshenko Calls on the EU to Demonstrate a Powerful Position in Supporting Ukraine

The names of the first round of companies that will be added to the list weren't decided. European officials will settle on those names in the coming days and weeks. The statement asks officials to decide that by the end of July.

The leaders also agreed to direct the European Investment Bank to suspend the signing of new financing agreements in Russia and called on the bloc's shareholders at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to do the same. They called on the European Commission to suspend some of its cooperation programs.

Источник: https://en.censor.net.ua/n294100