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EU and US set to impose new Russia sanctions : Finance, energy & defense sectors

From RT news: “Barack Obama says he is joining the EU initiative to impose a new round of sanctions on Russia. Both Washington and Brussels say the sanctions will target finance, energy and defense sectors – yet can be revoked if the situation in Ukraine improves.

The US is to provide details of their sanctions on Friday.

“We will deepen and broaden sanctions in Russia’s financial, energy, and defense sectors. These measures will increase Russia’s political isolation as well as the economic costs to Russia, especially in areas of importance to President [Vladimir] Putin and those close to him,” US President Barack Obama said in a statement on Thursday.

The US says that Russia has sent heavily armed forces to Ukraine. Obama added that the US may withdraw sanctions if Russia fulfills obligations under the Minsk agreement.

“We are watching closely developments since the announcement of the ceasefire and agreement in Minsk, but we have yet to see conclusive evidence that Russia has ceased its efforts to destabilize Ukraine,” Obama said. “If Russia fully implements its commitments, these sanctions can be rolled back.”

While details officially remain unknown, a Reuters source has alleged that the US intends to sanction Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, and tighten restrictions on other Russian banks.

Previously, access to the US capital market was restricted for five Russian banks – VTB, Gazprombank, Bank of Moscow, Russian Agricultural Bank and Vnesheconombank (VEB). The Aug. 1 sanctions restricted Sberbank’s activity in the EU.

EU sanctions to take immediate effect on Friday.

As for the European Union, the bloc will list their new limitations in the official journal Friday, which will mean they will come into effect immediately. Brussels will add 24 individuals to the list which blocks travel to the EU and asset freezes. Russian leaders and businessmen, as well as politicians in Crimea and the Donbass, will be added to the blacklist.

According to the official document, the EU will halt services Russia needs to extract oil and gas in the Arctic, deep sea, and shale extraction projects.

Three of Russia’s major energy companies and the country’s three largest defense entities will be restricted from raising long-term debt on European capital markets, Van Rompuy said.

Five major Russian state-owned banks will also be banned from any long-term (over 30-day) loans from EU companies.

Major Russian defense companies will be barred from debt refinancing, and the EU will also ban the export of any technology considered military “dual-use” to nine Russian companies.

Meanwhile, an EU source told RIA-Novosti news agency that the fresh European Union sanctions won’t affect the Russian gas sector.”

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