Date
18 December 2017
Ukrainian troops on the move near Donetsk. A ceasefire with Russia appears to be holding but the European Union and the United States are going ahead with tougher new sanctions on Moscow. Photo: Reuters
Ukrainian troops on the move near Donetsk. A ceasefire with Russia appears to be holding but the European Union and the United States are going ahead with tougher new sanctions on Moscow. Photo: Reuters

Russia faces toughest sanctions yet as US, EU tighten noose

New Russian sanctions are coming into force with the European Union and the United States joining forces to tighten the noose on Moscow.

President Barack Obama said the US will join a coordinated action after the EU announced the new sanctions, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The move raises pressure on Moscow even as a cease-fire appears to be taking hold in eastern Ukraine.

The sanctions could be rolled back if Russian President Vladimir Putin abides by commitments to seek a negotiated settlement to the conflict between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russia separatists, the report said.

The EU measures, initially approved on Monday, will take effect Friday, reinforcing steps taken in July restricting trade, commerce and financial links with Russia.

Together with the US package, they will be the toughest yet against Russia’s energy sector and will affect companies such as Exxon Mobil that are working with state-controlled oil companies in Russia.

“These measures will increase Russia’s political isolation as well as the economic costs to Russia, especially in areas of importance to President Putin and those close to him,” Obama said in a statement.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow considers the sanctions illegal.

Moscow has threatened to retaliate with new sanctions of its own, including possibly banning Western airlines from transiting its territory on transcontinental flights, as well as imports of used cars and some textiles.

– Contact us at [email protected]

RA

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe