Brussels Says Work on Possible EU Sanctions Against Russia Advanced 'Very Well'
BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The work on the potential EU sanctions against Russia over Ukraine is progressing "very well" with Brussels considering both the expansion of existing restrictions and the introduction of new sectoral measures, European Commission spokesman Peter Stano told Sputnik on Saturday.
On Wednesday, European Council President Charles Michel said that the EU does not want to introduce tough sanctions against Russia, preferring to resolve the situation by diplomatic means, but is ready to make the move in the event of an escalation of relations between Russia and Ukraine.
"The work is ongoing and very well advanced on preparations of deterrent measures and of a robust international reaction with massive consequences for Russia in case of any further aggression against Ukraine," Stano said.
The spokesman noted that the EU is ready to act "quickly and decisively" in coordination with international partners.
"Without going into details and without commenting on various speculations, this response could take the form of robust scaling-up and expansion of existing sanctions regimes as well as additional new individual and sectoral measures. As [EU Commission] President von der Leyen said yesterday, everything is on the table. We still hope and do everything possible to prevent further escalation and call on Russia to de-escalate and stop intimidating Ukraine," he added.
The new EU sanctions could include restrictions on currency conversion, export control measures, limiting access to SWIFT, import and export bans, according to Bloomberg. In addition, the Financial Times said, citing informed sources, the EU and the UK are working on steps against new Russian projects in the gas sector, which could be taken in the event of an escalation around Ukraine.
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