EU agrees new sanctions on Russia
The European Union said Friday it had agreed on a new package of economic sanctions against Russia, despite a ceasefire between government forces and pro-Kremlin rebels in Ukraine.
The sanctions tighten existing measures imposed in July, targeting more individuals with travel bans and asset freezes, as well as tightening access to capital markets for Russian oil and defence companies.
European Council President Herman Van Rom puy and European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barros said in a letter to European leaders that the new measures were an "effective tool" to "reinforce the principle that EU sanctions are directed at promoting a change of course in Russia's actions in Ukraine".
The new sanctions would be formally implemented on Monday, they added.
The agreement came despite the signing of a ceasefire agreement between Ukrainian officials and rebels after talks earlier Friday in Minsk, the capital of Belarus.
US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron had both said they would go ahead with the sanctions in spite of the truce.
An EU diplomat told AFP: "This is evidence that EU governments are prepared to do what it takes to show Russia the consequences of its actions."
© 2014 AFP