EU Announces New Sanctions on Russia

The European Union announced an expansion of sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, following the downing of MH17. The sanctions will target Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, but the punishment will not immediately take effect and some aspects are conditional. The list of Putin cronies to be hit by the sanctions will be finalized by the end of the month. The EU says it will also impose an arms embargo on “access to capital markets, defense, dual-use goods, and sensitive technologies.” However, if Russia cooperates with the MH17 investigation, keeps troops at the border, and refrains from supplying “weapons, equipment, and militants across the border,” the embargo will not take effect. While these sanctions may seem somewhat watered-down, EU officials insist it is a step forward in uniting to put pressure on Russia. Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said “I think Europe has woken up.”