Update: US and EU sanctions against Putin and Lavrov News

At the summit, the presidents and prime ministers of European Union countries approved a series of other tough sanctions against Russia, and Putin and Lavrov will also be affected.

(UPDATE, 10:26 PM) The United States government is preparing to impose sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in response to Moscow’s attack on Ukraine. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed the information to US media during a regular press briefing. He did so just hours after European Union member states agreed to freeze the assets of Putin and Lavrov.

(UPDATE, 8:06 PM) The sanctions for the two main politicians are part of a second package of anti-Russian sanctions, which the presidents and prime ministers of EU countries called for on Thursday. The ministers agreed to freeze the assets of Putin and Lavrov, but did not ban them from traveling to the EU for a possible diplomatic solution to the conflict.

“We have approved a proposal that targets everyone who already has an important economic role in supporting Putin’s regime,” Borrell told reporters after the meeting. According to him, the new measures will drive up Russian inflation, break the foundations of the industry and lead to a drop in foreign investment. Russia must enter international isolation for its unjustifiable actions in Ukraine, Borrell said.

The approved sanctions aim to limit Russia’s access to capital, targeting energy, transport and trade. They will also affect 70% of the Russian banking market. They also aim to prevent the Russian elite from depositing money in Europe, to ban the supply of key components to Russian refineries or to restrict Russia’s access to key technologies.

According to TASS, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zacharov said Moscow would respond to EU sanctions against Putin and Lavrov. “We will respond to sanctions as we always have. We will do everything else as it suits us. We no longer feel it necessary to justify or account in any way,” the door said. speech, which found its way into the first sanctions package approved on Wednesday.

(UPDATE, 6:32 PM) European Union countries today approved a second set of sanctions against Russia in response to its attack on Ukraine. In addition to curbing major sectors of the Russian economy, the European bloc will freeze the assets of President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. This was stated by Latvian Minister Edgars Rinkevičs after the meeting of EU foreign ministers. The EU has also started working on another set of measures aimed at further crippling the Russian economy.

(UPDATE, 5:15 PM) German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said Germany was willing to cut Russia off from the SWIFT system, but needed to know all the consequences of such a move.

(12:13, original report) At the overnight summit, the presidents and prime ministers of European Union countries approved a series of tough sanctions against Russia, but according to Ukraine the measures are not as strong as they could be. Russia remains in the SWIFT international payment system, thanks to Germany’s reluctant stance. The reasons may be Berlin’s concerns about the Russian gas supply, which German Finance Minister Christian Lindner says is in jeopardy.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz told reporters without saying that he wanted to leave this economic nuclear weapon, as CNN described exclusion from the SWIFT network, to a different situation.

Scholz said before the summit on Thursday that the union would accept the sanctions it had already prepared against Russia because, although it tried to keep Moscow at the negotiating table, it was not naïve. He mentioned that it would happen according to the principles of unity and determination. “Everything else should be left for a situation where more things will have to be done,” said the Chancellor. But he no longer specifies what such a situation might look like.

The RND media group said government circles in Berlin want to check the damage the West would cause by excluding Russia from SWIFT. US President Joe Biden, who has yet to back the measure, also spoke of the possible huge effects of such a move on Europe and other Western states.

CNN said that not only Germany but also Hungary, Italy and Cyprus oppose the use of the economic nuclear bomb. Reuters also added France to this list.

However, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner does not rule out Russia’s subsequent exclusion from the SWIFT system. “There are all the options on the table,” he told ARD television on Thursday evening. He said that if the Euro-Atlantic community wished, Russia’s exclusion from SWIFT was open. “But there is a high risk that Germany cannot be supplied with Russian gas and raw materials,” he said. He added that even the recently adopted sanctions would make importing and exporting with Russia extremely difficult.

Germany and Russian gas

In the ARD program, Lindner described Germany’s energy dependence on Russia as a weakness and said that this dependence should be reduced in the medium term. German Economy Minister Robert Habeck wants to do the same, wanting to speed up the construction of renewable energy sources.

“This has not only ecological reasons, but also strategic and security policy reasons,” he said in a speech on Thursday. He assures us that Germany is secure against possible disruptions in the supply of gas and oil from Russia for this winter season and that it is already preparing for the coming winter.

Habeck said Germany relies on 35% of its needs from Russian oil and 55% from Russian gas. He did not rule out sanctions leading to further increases in energy prices, although the West could use existing supplies to mitigate the effects of existing supplies. “But when there is a threat of war, freedom comes at a price that we should be prepared to pay,” Habeck added.

While the European Union speaks of new sanctions as unprecedented, which will allow Russia to pay dearly for the attack on Ukraine, kyiv obviously expected a tougher approach. Sanctions demanded by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky before the Russian attack. Ukraine’s Ambassador to Germany Andrij Melnyk told Bild TV today that the German government’s approach is not helping Ukraine.

“We don’t have good news from Berlin to help us,” Melnyk said. He explicitly mentioned Russia’s non-exclusion from the SWIFT system. The ambassador also points to Germany’s long-standing reluctance to supply arms to Ukraine, which Berlin explains by its various responsibilities after the Second World War, which Nazi Germany unleashed. According to Melnyk, Germany seems to regard Ukraine as lost. “But it is still too early to deregister Ukraine,” he added.

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