EU targets Russia with further sanctions

European finance ministers have formally approved a fourth package of sanctions targeting more than 600 Russian nationals, in what French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called a “historical decision.”

It is the “fastest, strongest package of sanctions ever adopted by the European Union in its history,” the ministers said.

The names of the Russian individuals and entities included in the new round of sanctions were not disclosed.

“You will have a new ban on some exportation like luxury goods and we will withdraw to the Russian state, the most favored nation clause within the World Trade Organization, which will allow us — all the 27 member states — to increase the level of trade tariffs on all Russian goods,” Maire said. 

The sanctions were expanded to include, “key oligarchs, lobbyist and propagandists pushing the Kremlin’s narrative on the situation in Ukraine as well as key companies in the aviation, military and dual use, shipbuilding and machine building sectors,” the European Council said in a statement.

When asked if there would be further sanctions, Maire said: “I can confirm to you what (French President) Emmanuel Macron said last week, all options remain on the table.”

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