EU Sanctions on Russia Come Into Effect
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The European Union's far­reaching economic sanctions on Russia and its ban on the exports of military goods and high technology for the energy sector came into force today after the endorsement by the European Council.

The council's adoption of the sanctions yesterday and subsequent publishing of the measures in the EU official journal will give a legal basis for the agreement reached by the EU ambassadors in Brussels on Tuesday.

The sanctions are put in place to punish Russia for its annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula in March and its continued support for the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The EU had agreed to restrict Russian banks' access to the European capital markets, clamped down an embargo on the future exports of military goods to Russia and banned the exports of dual use goods which have military and civilian use.

The union also curbed the exports of special technologies for the energy sector, especially for the oil industry.

The EU nationals and companies are now barred from buying or selling new bonds, equity or similar financial instruments exceeding 90 days, issued by the state-owned Russian banks, development banks, their subsidiaries outside the EU and by those acting on their behalf, the European Council said.

Services related to the issuing of such financial instruments also are prohibited.

The EU's arms embargo will curtail the exports and imports of arms and related materials to and from Russia and it will cover all items on the EU common military list, the council said in a press statement.

Exports of dual use goods and technology for military use in Russia or for military end-users will also be prohibited and they will include all items on the EU list of dual use goods.

Exports of certain energy-related equipment and technology to Russia will be subjected to prior authorisation by competent authorities of member-states, the statement said.

Meanwhile, the EU expanded the list of top Russian government officials and other individuals subjected to a travel ban and freezing of assets by adding to the list eight more persons, including three close associates of President Vladimir Putin.

The EU also announced that it will freeze the assets of three more Russian companies.

This will raise the total number of Russian and Ukrainian individuals subjected to sanctions to 95 and the number of entities to 23.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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