A week after the crash of flight MH17 in Donetsk, the European Union decided on Thursday, July 24, to strengthen its sanctions against Russia by blacklisting 15 individuals and 18 entities (companies and nine new institutions) accused of supporting the separatists in eastern Ukraine.
The names of persons and entities targeted are not yet available. However, The list should be made public by the end of the week.
The decision, taken by the Heads of State and Government during their summit on 16 July, is due to Moscow’s lack of efforts to de-escalate the crisis Ukraine. The list includes 72 individuals so far; Russian and pro-Russian Ukrainian nationals, and two companies located in Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia in March.
The leaders of the European Union met before the downing of flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine, assigned to the firing of a missile by the separatists. A tragedy that led Union to consider moving to a new phase of economic sanctions against Russia which accused of sending sophisticated weapons to the rebels. The ambassadors of Member States of the European Union, on Thursday, began reviewing a document prepared by the European Commission which has several options.
Among the options, the principal would be to cut funding of Russian banks. The Commission is also considering a ban on all EU nationals to invest in debt securities and shares issued by Russian financial companies which are held more than 50% by the State. Brussels also suggests preventing Russian banks from issuing new financial products on the European markets to prevent them from raising funds from non-Europeans, particularly in the City of London.
The United States have also expanded their own arsenal of sanctions in mid-July by targeting key players in the Russian economy as the oil giant Rosneft and Gazprombank.