EU leaders promise sanctions over Putin’s recognition of Ukraine’s dissident regions – POLITICO

The European Union will impose sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to recognize two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent, two of the EU’s top leaders said on Monday.

In a brief statement, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said they “condemn in the strongest terms the Russian President’s decision to proceed with the recognition non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts”. of Ukraine as independent entities.

“This measure is a flagrant violation of international law as well as of the Minsk agreements,” the two leaders said, referring to the peace agreements reached in 2014 and 2015. “The Union will react with sanctions against those involved in this unlawful act”.

They did not provide any details on the sanctions to be imposed, nor the specific targets of the measures.

In Washington, the US joined the EU in announcing its own sanctions. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the US measures “prohibit new investment, trade, and financing by U.S. persons to, from, or within the so-called DNR and LNR regions of Ukraine,” referring to breakaway regions.

“We will also soon announce additional measures related to today’s flagrant violation of Russia’s international commitments,” she added.

The measures came after Putin’s televised address to the Russian nation on Monday night. In his speech, the Russian president said he would recognize the two breakaway territories as independent, in a significant escalation of the crisis that Western leaders say is aimed at preparing the ground for a Russian invasion of its western neighbor.

“The Union reiterates its unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders,” Michel and von der Leyen said.

Western leaders have long vowed to impose tough sanctions on Moscow if it decides to invade Ukraine. But Putin’s move on Monday is likely to trigger only part of the economic sanctions the EU, US, Britain and others have prepared in the event of all-out war.

PSAKI underscored this point in his statement, saying the US measures are just the start of a series of sanctions the US has planned if Putin goes further.

“To be clear: These measures are separate and would be in addition to the swift and severe economic measures we have prepared in coordination with Allies and partners should Russia further invade Ukraine,” she said.


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