Ukraine: EU countries agree to freeze assets of Putin and Lavrov

Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, had announced it a little earlier this Friday morning: new sanctions against Moscow are “under urgent preparation”. A first of them has just been announced at the beginning of the afternoon.

The 27 countries of the European Union have decided to sanction Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov by freezing their assets within the EU, European sources have indicated. Information partially confirmed by Berlin, which indicated that the two men would be “severely punished”.

Germany and Italy change their minds

This measure had been mentioned during the extraordinary European summit this Thursday in Brussels, but it had not been adopted because of the reservations – since lifted – from Germany and Italy. The Europeans have also decided to remove the ability to travel without a visa in the EU for holders of Russian service passports.

“The European Council acted yesterday (thursday evening) a series of unprecedented sanctions affecting Russia and Belarus. The sanctions will also concern Russian personalities, including the highest leaders of the Russian Federation, ”commented Emmanuel Macron, this Friday, in a message read by the presidents of the two chambers of Parliament, without specifying the names of the persons concerned.

This Friday morning, the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, had estimated that the sanctions taken by the European Union were not sufficient, and that “all the possibilities of sanctions (had) not yet been exhausted”. He had notably proposed to disconnect Russia from the Swift interbank network, to recall the ambassadors or even to impose an embargo on oil.

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