Fri. May 27th, 2022

The European Union (EU), Australia, Taiwan and Japan leveled sanctions Friday against Russia with heavy restrictions to chip makers over its invasion of Ukraine.

(aljazeera.com)

The new tranches of punitive measures follow the United States, Canada and Britain a day earlier targeting Moscow’s economy in an effort to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for what they say is an illegal attack against the sovereignty of its neighbor.

In Brussels during an emergency meeting, the European Council approved sanctions that cover Russia’s financial, energy and transport sectors, restrict dual-use goods and export control and export financing as well as limit visas and create additional listings of Russian individuals for personal sanctions.

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, told reporters during a press conference following the meeting that the sanctions on top of those the 27-member block unveiled days earlier  against Russia will have an accumulative effect and deal a heavy blow.

“We are now targeting 70 percent of the Russian banking market, but also key state-owned companies, including the field of defense,” she said. “These sanctions will increase Russia’s borrowing costs, raise inflation and gradually erode Russia’s industrial base. We are also targeting the Russian elite by curbing thier deposits so that they cannot hide their money any more in safe havens in Europe.”

Through targeting the energy sector, the sanctions will make it “impossible” for Russia to upgrade its oil refineries that brought the country some $26.9 billion in 2019, she said.

The sale of aircraft, spare parts and equipment are banned under the new measures, which Leyen said will further degrade a key sector of Moscow’s economy and its ability to connect with the wider world as three-quarters of its fleet were built by the EU, the United States and Canada.

The sanctions also target Russia’s ability to modernize by restricting its access to semiconductors and other cutting-edge technology.

Concerning visas, diplomats and other related groups and business people will no longer have privilege access to the union.

“President Putin chose to bring back war to Europe. This is a fully fledged invasion of Ukraine,” she said. “And this fundamentally puts into question our peace order.”

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