E.U. Plans More Sanctions Against Russia, but Still Won't Touch Natural Gas

E.U. Plans More Sanctions Against Russia, but Still Won't Touch Natural Gas

New European Union sanctions against Russia are expected to be issued on Tuesday. The decision to add new penalties comes after a ceasefire was announced on Friday and then effectively broken on Sunday when pro-Russian separatists attacked the Mariupol airport, killing a civilian. 

Specific targets will include Gazprom's petroleum subsidiary, the oil companies Rosneft and Transneft, as well as visa and asset freezing for both Russian and pro-Russian separatist officials.

Notably, the EU will once again avoid targeting Russia's natural gas sector. Europe relies heavily on Russia for natural gas, and as the colder months approach, this would be an extremely different sanction to maintain, both logistically and economically. It is also widely considered to be the most harsh economic sanction which could be used against Russia. A spokesperson for the European Union described Tuesday's sanctions as "reversible" in speaking with the BBC

Russia has indicated they would retaliate against any further sanctions, potentially by blocking foreign airlines from their airspace. In early August, Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev led the effort to block Ukrainian airlines from Russian air space. Medvedev believes an expanded airspace ban "could drive many struggling airlines into bankruptcy." Russian officials have not yet issued comment on increased sanctions. Rosneft has not yet replied to a request for comment. 

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This article was originally published at http://www.thewire.com/business/2014/09/more-sanctions-against-russia-are-coming/379766/

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