On 22 February 2022, EU Foreign Affairs Ministers attended an informal meeting chaired by the EU High Representative, during which a new package of sanctions against Russia was agreed, with respect to Russia’s decision to recognise as independent entities and send Russian troops to certain areas of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
As indicated in a statement issued by the Presidents of the European Council and European Commission prior to the meeting, the package discussed contained proposals:
- target those who were involved in the illegal decision
- target banks that are financing Russian military and other operations in those territories
- target the ability of the Russian state and government to access the EU’s capital and financial markets and services, to limit the financing of escalatory and aggressive policies
- target trade from the two breakaway regions to and from the EU, to ensure that those responsible clearly feel the economic consequences of their illegal and aggressive actions
The appropriate bodies were expected to meet in order to finalise the package and formally approve the measures.
The EU High Representative subsequently issued a declaration on behalf of the EU strongly condemning the decision by President Putin to recognise the non-government controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine as independent entities and the ensuing decision to send Russian troops into these areas. The declaration states that this is an illegal act that further undermines Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence and is a severe breach of international law and international agreements, including the UN Charter, Helsinki Final Act, Paris Charter and Budapest Memorandum.
As yet, no formal information has been issued on the details of the sanctions package to be adopted by the EU. Informal reporting suggests that the package of sanctions is expected to be finalised and signed off by EU ambassadors in a written (fast-track) procedure by Wednesday afternoon.
The statement of the Presidents can be found here.
The Declaration of the High Representative can be found here.