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The European Union is preparing the eighth round of sanctions against Russia as Moscow escalated its war in Ukraine by holding illegal referendums in four Ukrainian regions, which Putin is preparing to annex today.
The 27 EU member states have moved closer to agreeing on the scope of the eighth package of sanctions against Russian entities, individuals, and exports since Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine at the end of February, EU diplomats told Reuters on Friday.
“The willingness to go ahead is high, we want to be ready as soon as possible because of everything that is going on,” a senior EU diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Over the past ten days, Putin announced a partial mobilization – the first Russian troop mobilization since World War II, which could lead to further isolation and more Western sanctions against Russia, including on its energy exports. Russia also staged referendums in occupied regions in eastern Ukraine, drawing widespread indignation from around the world, most of which called the voting sham referendums. Today, Putin is preparing to announce the annexation of those regions— Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia.
On Thursday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented the Commission’s proposals for the eighth package of sanctions in response to Russia’s escalation of the war in Ukraine.
“Today, in this package, here, we are laying the legal basis for this oil price cap,” von der Leyen said, commenting on the G7-led idea of banning Russian crude oil from imports by sea unless the oil is sold at or below a certain price the buyers expect to set.
The eighth package is planned to include further restrictions on trade with Russia.
A sanctions package would need unanimous approval by all 27 EU member states, but Hungary has said it would block new energy sanctions against Russia.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.