The European Union is preparing to impose a series of tougher sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, the head of the European Commission said on Friday.
“We will deny Russia most-favoured-nation status in our markets. This will remove significant advantages Russia enjoys as a member of the WTO (World Trade Organization),” Ursula von der Leyen said.
Stating that Russian companies will no longer have a privileged position in the EU, von der Leyen promised: “We will ensure that Russia cannot obtain funding, loans or any other advantage from these institutions.”
She also said that they are working so that “the Russian state and its elites cannot use crypto assets to circumvent sanctions.”
The EU, she added, will ban exports of all EU luxury goods from bloc countries to Russia, saying: “Those who support Putin’s war machine should no longer be able to profit from their lavish lifestyle as bombs fall on innocent people in Ukraine. .”
On Wednesday, the EU agreed to a new round of sanctions targeting senior Russian officials and oligarchs in retaliation for Moscow’s military operation in neighboring Ukraine.
At least 564 civilians have been killed and 957 others injured in Ukraine since the war began on February 24, the United Nations said, while warning that conditions on the ground make it difficult to verify the true number.
More than 2.5 million people have fled to neighboring countries, and around 2 million more are believed to be displaced inside Ukraine, according to the UN refugee agency.