Brussels, 25 February 2022 (TDI): European Union (EU) members will impose new sanctions on Russia, freezing its resources, denying the bank’s access to European economic markets, and pointing out “Kremlin interests” for its attack on Ukraine.

Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission shared in a conference that the EU will impose massive and targeted sanctions agreed by EU leaders on Russia.

These sanctions will cover the financial sector, the energy and transport sectors, a ban on the export of aircraft spare parts, access to important technology, and, visa policy.

An emergency conference on Thursday 24 February also argued proposing European Union candidate status to Ukraine, Lithuania’s President Gitanas Nauseda said, a step Kyiv has long aimed for, though it could not win the support from all European Union members.

Reportedly Russian military forces invaded Ukrainian cities, including the country capital Kyiv, and landed military troops on its Black and Azov Sea coasts on Thursday.

The European Union said it had called the Russian Ambassador to Brussels to convict “the unprovoked, unjustified invasion”, warned him that a new “hard-hitting” set of sanctions would be decided at the summit in direction with its transatlantic allies.

Ursula von der Leyen said, “with this package, we will target strategic sectors of the Russian economy by blocking their access to technologies and markets that are key to Russia,”

Moreover, Russian banks’ reserves in the EU would also be frozen and Russian banks’ access to Europe’s economic markets would be stopped. Though, cutting Russia off the SWIFT international interbank payments system hasn’t been decided yet.

Cutting off the SWIFT international interbank payments system is one of the hardest non-military sanctions the Western Nations can impose, though they haven’t yet.

The European Union ratified the first round of sanctions on Wednesday, comprising banning Russian politicians and restricting trade between the EU and two autonomous regions of eastern Ukraine whose freedom Moscow has documented.

The new actions, to be debated at the evening summit of national EU members, will be “the harshest package of sanctions we have ever implemented”, said the alliance’s High Representative of the EU, Josep Borrell.

In the financial sector, the EU aims to target 70% of the Russian banking market and key state-owned enterprises, including in the defense sector. Whereas in the energy and transport sectors, the export ban will hit the oil sector by making it impossible for Russia to modernize its refineries.

Moreover, a ban on the export of aircraft spare parts will affect the key sector of the Russian economy and the country’s connectivity as three-quarters of Russia’s current commercial aircraft fleet has been built in the European Union, the US, and Canada.

Sanctions related to access to important technology will affect Russia’s access to key technologies it needs to build a prosperous future like semiconductors or advanced technologies.

Likewise, with reference to the visa policy diplomats and related groups, as well as business people, will no longer have privileged access to the European Union.

Russia’s Response

Moscow has assured to react in the same manner to “unfriendly” EU sanctions imposed for its attack on Ukraine. “Following the principle of reciprocity, which is fundamental to international law, we will take tough retaliatory measures,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.