EU leaders to impose tougher sanctions on Russia

Photo: EU leaders to impose tougher sanctions on Russia / Politics

European Union leaders have agreed to impose tougher sanctions on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, Press TV reported.

Diplomats said that during a Wednesday meeting in Brussels, the EU leaders agreed to halt new investments in Russia by the bloc's European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

According to the agreement, the EU will also tighten sanctions on Russian firms for alleged actions undermining Ukraine's sovereignty, but it was not immediately known which Russian companies were targeted.

Washington has been pressuring European leaders to impose financial sanctions on Russia and restrictions on its arms sales.

On Thursday, the US also imposed new sanctions against Russian energy and defense entities, as well as major banks over the crisis in Ukraine. Among those on the sanctions list are Gazprombank and Rosneft energy companies.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of instigating the conflict in his country.

Ukraine's mainly Russian-speaking eastern parts have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Russia protesters and the Ukrainian army since mid-April. In May, Ukraine's eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk held local referendums, in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the ongoing military campaign in Ukraine, which has also forced tens of thousands to escape to Russia, with the majority arriving to the Russian Rostov region.

On July 12, the EU imposed sanctions on the prime minister of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic, Alexander Borodai, and his counterpart in Luhansk, Marat Bashirov.

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