By Anthony Marcus, consultant for Eurasia Business News – April 8, 2022

Representatives of the 27 EU member states agreed Thursday night on an embargo on Russian coal and the closure of European ports to Russian ships, as part of a fifth sanctions package against Russia.

These new measures also include a ban on exports to Russia, including high-tech goods, to the tune of €10 billion, and the freezing of the assets of several Russian banks.

This is the first time that Europeans decide to hit the Russian energy sector, on which they are strongly dependent. The European Union imports 45% of its coal from Russia worth €4 billion per year. The embargo should come into force in early August, 120 days after the new package is published in the EU’s Official Journal on Friday.

The fifth round of EU sanctions follows those of the United States and the United Kingdom that were announced on Wednesday.

The US sanctions targeted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s family, his two adult daughthers, in addition to key Russian banks. Fresh US sanctions also targeted a Russian Darknet platform and a crypto exchange.

Read also : U.S. Treasury Imposed Sanctions on Members of Russian Duma and Sberbank CEO

The press agency Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing its source, that the United States will take new sanctions against Russia in coming days. The new measures would tighten sanctions against Russian financial institutions.

Read also : How will Russia respond to Western sanctions ?

Russia launched a military operation in the morning of February 24, with the official goal to “demilitarize Ukraine”, remove the Ukrainian government and protect the right of Russians living in Donbass, Eastern Ukraine. In a televised address to Russian citizens, President Vladimir Putin stated that circumstances “require decisive and immediate action from us, the people’s republics of Donbass  have asked for help.” 

Read also : U.S. Treasury Imposed Sanctions on Members of Russian Duma and Sberbank CEO

The Kremlin continues voicing that Moscow’s plans do not include the occupation of Ukrainian territories. The Russian goals would be “demilitarization and denazification” of the country.

Ukraine and its Western partners sees the Russian military operation as an invasion and imposed strong strong sanctions against Russian state officials, banks, companies and oligarchs.

The Ukrainians claim now that they have retaken the Kyiv region. From April 3, the Russian troops have moved east and south, the regions it controls. 

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