Sources: EU adopts tough new sanctions on Russia

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BRUSSELS (AP) — Frustrated by the apparent ineffectiveness of previous sanctions and outraged by the deaths of 298 people aboard the Malaysia Airlines plane downed over eastern Ukraine, the European Union adopted tough new economic sanctions against Russia Tuesday, two diplomats said.

The measures include an arms embargo, a ban on the sale of dual use and sensitive technologies, and a ban on the sale of bonds and equities by state-owned Russian banks in European capital markets, the diplomats told the Associated Press.

The ambassadors also added eight names to the list of people subject to EU-wide asset freezes and travel bans, including four people close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, another EU official said. They also put three more entities on the list of companies and organizations subject to EU sanctions because of their alleged actions against Ukraine's sovereignty or territorial integrity, that official said.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly on the matter.

The measures were decided at a meeting of ambassadors from the EU's 28 member countries.

Europe, which has a much bigger trade relationship with Russia than the U.S., had lagged behind Washington in its earlier punitive measures, in part out of concern from leaders that the penalties could hurt their own economies. But on Monday, in a rare videoconference call with President Barack Obama, the leaders of Britain, Germany, Italy and France expressed their willingness to adopt new sanctions against Russia in coordination with the United States, an official French statement said.

A spokesman for British Prime Minister David Cameron said it was agreed the EU should adopt a "strong package of sectoral sanctions as swiftly as possible."

Until now, the trade bloc has only targeted specific individuals, businesses or rebel groups.

The Western nations are demanding Russia halt the alleged supply of arms to Ukrainian separatists and other actions that destabilize the situation in eastern Ukraine.