Tanks roll – Russia recognizes Donetsk and Luhansk separatist areas in eastern Ukraine as independent republics. The move was announced by President Vladimir Putin on Russian television on Monday evening.
After his speech, reports of Russian military contingent in the territory of the divided provinces increased. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky addressed the Ukrainians on Monday evening, saying that Moscow’s actions were a clear “violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state.”
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In view of the escalating conflict in Ukraine, the European Union is now imposing new sanctions on Russia. At a special meeting in Paris on Tuesday, the foreign ministers of the member states approved the relevant proposal of the European Commission and the Foreign Service, which was confirmed by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. Penalties are expected to take effect on Wednesday once technical arrangements are finalized.
The EU sanctions package includes a trade embargo on Russian government bonds to make it harder for the Russian government to refinance. In addition, several hundred people and companies are set to be added to the EU sanctions list, as announced by the French presidency on Tuesday evening.
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Among them were 350 Russian parliamentarians who voted for Russian recognition of the self-proclaimed republics of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, but also banks doing business in eastern Ukraine. Furthermore, the EU’s free trade rules with Ukraine no longer apply to parts of eastern Ukraine.
Currently, Russian President Vladimir Putin is not personally subject to EU sanctions, although he is responsible for the recent escalation of the conflict in Ukraine. On Tuesday evening after a special meeting of EU foreign ministers in Paris, EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell confirmed that “Mr Putin is not on the list of those to be allowed.” This decision has been made because there is a need for further action.
All assets in the EU will be disabled by any person, organization or entity listed on the EU sanctions list. In addition, the listed persons will no longer be allowed to enter the EU and will not be able to do business with the victims.
Reuters quoted a spokesman for the Swiss Ministry of Economic Affairs as saying that the Swiss Federal Council would review the current situation and decide whether the country, which is considered neutral, would join EU sanctions.
The House of Commons in London on Tuesday afternoon approved five Russian banks and three wealthy Russian citizens. The properties of Gen. Timchenko and brothers Boris and Igor Rottenberg in Great Britain will be frozen and barred from entering. All three are considered Putin’s close allies. According to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, further punitive measures will be followed.
The British Foreign Office also issued an order to the Russian ambassador on Tuesday, the ministry said. However, the media reports that the expulsion of Russian diplomats is not currently being considered.
The federal government is suspending North Stream 2
Another punitive measure Turn off the Nord Stream 2 gas pipe. At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Chancellor Olaf Scholes (SPD) said certification for the pipeline would be suspended until further notice. The German-Russian natural gas pipeline is not currently licensed for operation. Previously, Scholes had only expressed himself vaguely.
He told a security conference in Munich on Saturday: “Further violation of (Ukrainian unity) will cost Russia more – politically, economically and geo-strategically.” In the past, Sholes always had a low profile when it came to potential obstacles. Against Russia. The report said that Putin could not calculate the consequences of his actions. During his visit to Moscow last week, Scholes said: “As far as the pipeline is concerned, everyone knows what’s going on.”
Chancellor Scholes’ suspension of approval process for the controversial Nortstream 2 Baltic Sea Pipeline has received a positive response from the Green Alliance partner. “I welcome the federal government’s decision to suspend the approval process for the North Stream 2 natural gas pipeline until further notice,” said Anton Hofreiter (Greens), chairman of the European Commission in the Bundestag.
Japan and Australia have joined the EU and US sanctions
On Monday (local time), the US president wrote on Twitter that Joe Biden had signed a decree “depriving Russia of the opportunity to benefit from blatant violations of international law.” Biden announced further sanctions against Russia and three supporters of Putin and his family for trading in Russian government bonds.
Japan, Australia join sanctions: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Wednesday that he would impose a travel ban on some individuals associated with the so-called “two republics” of pro-Russian separatists. Their assets in Japan will be frozen and Japanese companies will be banned from trading with the area.
The government also wants to ban trading in Russian government bonds. Kishida said the sanctions were lifted “with the cooperation of the international community.”
Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced sanctions against eight top security advisers to Russian President Vladimir Putin. These receive entry barriers to Australia. In addition, the government wants to take action against banks affiliated with the Russian military. Morrison also announced that he would expedite the visa process for about 430 Ukrainians seeking to enter Australia.
These obstacles may still come
Another punitive measure against Russia could be excluded from the Swift organization. Banks use the international payment method to detect payments across borders. Earlier, the Austrian weekly newspaper “Folder” journalist Eva Consett explained on Twitter that this was difficult with telex. More than 2000 banks worldwide use this system.
As early as 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea, there were discussions about expelling Russia from the Swift organization. At the time, the then Russian finance minister predicted a decline of about five percent in GDP, the concert writes – “a dramatic economic crisis”.
For the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), Russia’s loss is manageable, Conceit tweeted. It accounts for only 1.5 per cent of the country’s transactions. However, if Russia withdraws from the Swift system, it will be “greatly affected”.
More about the Ukraine-Russia conflict:
In Brussels, however, it is considered impossible to exclude Russia. “Bayerischer Rundfunk” reports. This will greatly disrupt international trade and capital markets. Individual Russian banks are more likely to be on the list of potential sanctions. In this way, the report says, it will be possible to meet directly with Putin and his confidants and cut off foreign exchange reserves.
In addition to disabled accounts and travel restrictions, bans on machinery, software and semiconductors may also be discussed. “The European Union and its partners will work in solidarity, stability and commitment with Ukraine,” EU Commission President Ursula van der Leyen tweeted on Monday evening.
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However, punitive measures will also affect the European and German economies. Economy Minister Robert Hebeck (Bündnis90 / Greens) told Handelsblatt over the weekend. In early February, her party colleague in Kiev, Foreign Minister Annalena Barbach, said that Germany was “ready to pay a high economic price” in the event of sanctions against Russia.
However, military intervention is not on the list of possible actions. In the past, the West has repeatedly insisted that Ukraine is not a NATO member and that there will be no alliance in the event of a Russian invasion. However, many Western states support Ukraine with military equipment. (with dpa / Reuters / AFP)
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