EU leaders give green light to Russia sanctions

 
Kate McCann
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EUROPEAN leaders have agreed a plan to enact tough new sanctions on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.

The decision was made yesterday morning and the sanctions, which are expected to further restrict the import of dual-use goods, restrict bank loans and make it harder for Russia to do business with the EU on oil and gas, will come into force on Friday. The action will also target an additional 24 Russian citizens are rebel leaders for visa bans and asset freezes.

EU leaders want to keep the pressure up on Russia in order to persuade president Putin to maintain a fragile ceasefire with Ukraine. Putin is understood to be preparing action in response, having suggested earlier this month that European flights over Russian air space could be blocked. The nation’s currency tanked on the news, with the rouble sliding to a new historic low against the dollar yesterday.

Russia is accused of sending troops and tanks to eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists are fighting against Ukrainian government forces. Putin has denied any involvement.

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