The EU plans to tighten sanctions against Russia, introduced in connection with Russia’s annexation of Crimea, reported Spiegel, citing a confidential report of the German diplomatic mission in Brussels.
According to the newspaper, new restrictions were requested last week in the EU by countries such as Bulgaria, Denmark, Lithuania, Romania. They would like to include five more individuals or organizations in the EU sanctions list. Names and titles are not known yet. As the newspaper notes, such information is always classified until an official decision is made.
According to representatives of the above-mentioned countries, expanding sanctions is "a necessary response in the light of the Russification of the annexed regions of Ukraine” carried out by Russia. At the same time, the Governments of Finland, Germany and Italy said that the issue required further study. The German Foreign Ministry has completed the verification process. Berlin is ready to approve the expansion of sanctions and the corresponding instructions have already been received by the Permanent Mission of Germany in Brussels.
Spiegel recalled that the German government nevertheless rejects the possibility of disconnecting Russia from SWIFT or a ban on the launch of Nord Stream 2 in the event of an escalation in the east of Ukraine. In addition, Berlin still opposes the supply of weapons to Ukraine.
Spiegel writes, citing its diplomatic sources, that the decision on a new package of sanctions against Russia in the event of a conflict with Ukraine has not yet been made. The European Union intends to monitor the situation and take measures depending on Moscow's actions. "We will not put price tags on Russia’s possible steps," the EU diplomat told the newspaper. He added that disclosing specific measures could be beneficial to Moscow.