The Council of the European Union has approved sectoral economic sanctions against Russia in view of its actions destabilizing the situation in eastern Ukraine; a respective statement was released on Thursday by the press office of the European Council.
"In order to restrict Russia's access to EU capital markets, EU nationals and companies may no more buy or sell new bonds, equity or similar financial instruments with a maturity exceeding 90 days, issued by major state-owned Russian banks, development banks, their subsidiaries and those acting on their behalf. Services related to the issuing of such financial instruments, e.g. brokering, are also prohibited," reads the statement. In addition, an embargo on the import and export of arms and related material from/to Russia was imposed. It covers all items on the EU common military list. Exports of dual use goods and technology for military use in Russia or to Russian military end-users will also be prohibited, with all items in the EU list of dual use goods included. Finally, exports of certain energy-related equipment and technology to Russia will be subject to prior authorization by competent authorities of Member States. Export licenses will be denied if products are destined for deep water oil exploration and production, arctic oil exploration or production and shale oil projects in Russia. This decision gives legal value to an agreement reached at the Committee of Permanent Representatives on Tuesday, July 29. The legal texts will be published in the EU Official Journal later on Thursday so that the above restrictions will enter into force on Friday, August 1. As reported, on Wednesday, July 30, the European Council approved additional restrictive measures in view of the situation in eastern Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea, officially expanding the sanctions list to 95 individuals and 23 entities. The Council also adopted further trade and investment restrictions for Crimea and Sevastopol, as part of the EU's policy of not recognizing the illegal annexation.