EU has exhausted all financial sanctions on Russia – bloc’s top diplomat
The EU has used up all of the possible restrictive measures against Russia in response to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the bloc’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said, in an interview with Franceinfo on Thursday.
“Of course, one can always go further, but we have already reached the limits of what we can do. We have done everything we could,” he said.
Borrell clarified that he was referring to the massive sanctions that have led to a 40% crash of the Russian currency. “These are very heavy sanctions that will put a heavy burden on the Russian economy,” he explained.
According to the foreign-policy chief, the ban on the export of high technologies was the most painful punitive measure for the Russian economy.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation in Ukraine to defend the newly-recognized Donbass republics, which broke away from Kiev in 2014. In response, Western countries, including the EU, UK, US, Canada and others introduced or significantly expanded personal and sectoral sanctions, particularly targeting Russia’s sovereign debt and its banking sector. The measures also targeted members of the State Duma, many business figures, as well as, personally, President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Some Russian banks have been cut off from the SWIFT payment system, while international businesses started pulling out from Russia or halting sales to the country.
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