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EU To Add More Names, Entities To Ukraine Sanctions List

July 25, 2014

The European Union on July 25 is expected to add to its sanctions list 15 Ukrainian and Russian individuals and 18 entities over their role in the Ukraine crisis.

EU diplomatic sources say the 18 entities will consist of nine companies and nine institutions set up by pro-Russian separatists who have proclaimed independence in eastern Ukraine.

A statement after a July 24 meeting of ambassadors to the 28-member bloc in Brussels said they had agreed to add names and entities to the sanctions list but did not give details.

The statement said conclusions of the meeting will be published in the EU's official journal on July 25.

The list now consists of 72 names who have been subjected to travel bans and asset freezes as Russia failed to meet demands to stop support for the separatists.

The ambassadors also discussed options to curb Russian access to capital markets, arms and energy technology.

Talks will continue on July 25, with diplomats saying decisions on wider sanctions were likely at the earliest next week.

One key measure would reportedly ban EU investors from buying new debt or shares of banks owned 50 percent or more by the Russian state.

The banks with state ownership last year raised almost half their 15.8 billion euro ($21.29 billion) capital needs on EU markets last year.

The largest such banks are Sberbank, VTB, Russian Agriculture Bank (Rosselkhozbank) and VEB.

Proposals also included an arms embargo, although diplomats said it would apply to future deals and would not prevent delivery of French warships to Russia under a 2011 contract.

The EU was also reportedly considering restricting exports of technology for deep-sea drilling, shale and Arctic energy exploration.

The bloc has said that to avoid tougher sanctions, Moscow must stop the flow of weapons across the border to Ukraine and use its influence with pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine to allow an independent investigation into the downing of flight MH17 with the loss of 298 people.

Restrictions to access to EU capital markets and defense and energy technology would mark the first time the EU has gone beyond asset freezes and visa bans to target sensitive sectors of the Russian economy.

Despite threatening tough action since Russia's annexation of Crimea in March, the EU has been divided over imposing economic sanctions on Moscow.

Up to now, tougher measures have proved very divisive because some EU member states, such as Germany and Italy, have extensive economic ties with Russia.

Other members, led by Britain and including former Soviet-bloc states such as Poland and Lithuania, want much tougher action.

Meanwhile, Canada said on July 24 that it would also impose sanctions on 'a broad range' of Russian companies and banks over Moscow's illegal occupation of Crimea and 'provocative military activity' in eastern Ukraine.

The companies include Novatek, Russia's second-largest natural gas producer, as well as Gazprombank, Russia's third-largest bank by assets. The measures also target state development bank Vnesheconombank and small-arms producer Kalashnikov.

The United States last week announced its own new set of sanctions, including Vnesheconombank, and energy companies like state-owned oil giant Rosneft.

Russia's ambassador to Britain, Aleksandr Yakovenko, called sanctions against Moscow 'illegal, unreasonable, and counterproductive.'

With reporting by Reuters and AFP


Copyright (c) 2014. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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