The EU has agreed to slap new sanctions on Russia “as soon as possible” over plans to hold referendums in the Donbass republics and Russian-controlled regions in Ukraine on whether to unite with Russia, the bloc’s foreign policy chief said on Wednesday.
Speaking after an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers, Josep Borrell said that the bloc had made a “political” decision to impose new sectoral and individual sanctions on Russia.
“These restrictive measures would be brought forward as soon as possible against Russia in coordination with partners,” he said.
While he did not clarify the details of the new sanctions, he hinted that they would hit the Russian economy, especially the technology sector, while the EU would also blacklist a number of individuals.
He also noted that the bloc would provide Ukraine with security assistance for “as long as it takes.” “Today it’s clear that we will continue to increase our military support and continue to provide arms to Ukraine,” he added.
Borrell also commented on recent developments in the Ukraine conflict, accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of “trying to destroy Ukraine” and organizing partial mobilization to support what he called “illegal referenda.”
On Wednesday, Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization which calls on 300,000 reservists to take part in the conflict with Ukraine. The move comes a day after the two Donbass republics and Russian-controlled Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions decided to hold referendums from September 23 to 27, on whether to unite with Russia.