EU targets 5 Russian banks, adopting toughest sanctions yet over Ukraine crisis

The European Union has published a law that will curb arms sales to Russia and cut off financing for five major Russian banks over Moscow’s support for rebels in Ukraine. Russia has denounced the measures, agreed by the 28 EU member states on Tuesday, as “destructive and shortsighted,”while fighting has intensified in eastern Ukraine between Kiev forces and the pro-Russian separatists. The toughest measures aim to prevent Russian banks from raising money on Western capital markets, while others limit defence sales and the export of high-tech equipment for the oil sector. Published on Thursday in the Official Journal of the European Union, the law takes effect Friday, Aug. 1. The sanctions will mean EU nationals and companies can no longer buy or sell new bonds, equity or other financial instruments with a maturity of more than 90 days issued by major state-owned Russian banks or those acting on their behalf. The law lists five targeted banks: Russia’s largest lender Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank (VEB) and Russian Agriculture Bank (Rosselkhozbank).

We will for sure have an effect and a very substantial and concrete effect on Russia.

Anonymous EU official