EU expands sanctions against Russia

Brussels, March 21: Leaders of the European Union (EU) have decided to expand its sanctions against Russia, including imposing a travel ban, assets freeze and cancelling the EU-Russia summit, authorities said Friday.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said the decision was made by the leaders of the 28 EU member states who gathered in Brussels for the bloc’s spring summit, reported Xinhua.

The EU also added 12 more names on the blacklist, but did not reveal who they were. Van Rompuy, however, told a post-summit press conference that some of them are high ranking Russian officials.

Van Rompuy said if Russia takes any further step to destabilize Ukraine, it will have far-reaching consequences.

European Commission (EC) President Jose Manuel Barroso told reporters that the EC has been mandated by the member states to prepare targeted measures on Russia and the impact assessment of further sanctions against the country.

“We have been already working on this and are looking at broader areas that could have far-reaching consequences for the relations between European Union and Russia,” said Barroso.

“It’s a broad range of economic areas where we are in fact preparing possible targeted measures,” he added.

IANS