The EU says new sanctions against Russia should be adopted shortly and take effect on Tuesday, despite a Kremlin warning of retaliation.
But an EU spokeswoman said the sanctions would be “reversible”, depending on the situation in Ukraine.
Russia has repeatedly denied accusations by Ukraine and the West that it has been sending troops into Donetsk and Luhansk regions to help the separatists, who want to establish an independent state.
A European Commission spokeswoman said the new sanctions package targeting Russian firms and officials “is due to be formally adopted by member states through a written procedure later today, so the procedure is ongoing”.
“It will then be published in the official journal of the EU, which should happen in the course of tomorrow at the latest as plans currently stand,” bbc.com.uk quotes her as saying. Publication in the journal puts the sanctions into effect.
(UPD) The European Union has included Russia’s oil giants Rosneft, Gazpromneft and Transneft in its new sanctions list, Reuters reports Monday citing an EU diplomat.
EU sanctions will also be imposed on Russian state companies with a turnover of more than $27 billion annually, which would also include companies selling or transporting oil.
Earlier Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned that Moscow would respond “asymmetrically” to further sanctions. For example, a Russian airspace ban “could drive many struggling airlines into bankruptcy”, he told a Russian daily.
Last week an EU official told the BBC that further sanctions would deepen the existing measures, affecting Russia’s access to capital markets, dual-use goods which can be used for military purposes, defence equipment and some other sensitive technologies.
They would also expand the visa bans and asset freezes on Russian officials and entities, including separatist leaders in Ukraine.
www.belsat.eu/en, via BBC