EU foreign ministers zoom in on tightening Russia sanctions

EU foreign ministers zoom in on tightening Russia sanctions

BRUSSELS (AP): European Union foreign ministers are zooming in Monday on tightening the extensive package of sanctions on Russia and looking at ways to add a ban on gold exports in hopes that the measures might finally start to have a decisive impact on the war in Ukraine.

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said that at the moment “the most important thing is a ban on Russian gold,” which is Moscow’s second largest export industry after energy.

The G-7 group of leading industrial nations last month already committed to a gold ban, arguing the Russia has used its gold to back up its currency to circumvent the impact of several rounds of sanctions that nations around the world had already imposed on Moscow for its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

The 27 ministers will also assess how they can tighten controls on exports of high technology to Russia for a possible decision later in the week.

On top of the restrictive measures, the ministers will also assess plans to boost military aid to Ukraine, and will be briefed on the latest developments through a video conference with Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

“If anything needs to be continued, it is weapons deliveries. And anybody who can who can do that, obviously, this is the main industrial countries of of the Western world. They have to step up with that,” said Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, insisting it was also essential to secure the port of Odesa enough to make sure grain shipments could resume.

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