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EU diplomats to green-light further sanctions against Russia today

EU ambassadors will this afternoon discuss another round of sanctions against Russia, according to two diplomats, who are expecting the package to get a political green light at the meeting.

The new package includes sanctions targeting more Russian oligarchs and elements of the maritime industry, but will not directly hit any ports to avoid disruption in trade and energy supplies, the diplomats said.

Ukraine and the U.S. have also called on the EU to also target Russian gas and oil imports as part of international sanctions. European Commission heavyweights such as finance and trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis and climate chief Frans Timmermans also argued that nothing should be off the table to stop Russia’s aggression, given Europe’s energy imports are financing Putin’s war machine.

But one diplomat stressed more time is needed to find a consensus among EU countries on the issue of targeting oil, especially given Germany’s open resistance to banning Russian energy. The issue is set to be discussed by EU leaders at their informal summit later this week, the diplomat said.

If the new sanctions are agreed, the formal adoption could come as early as tomorrow, according to the second diplomat. They would come on top of a long list of earlier EU sanctions, coordinated with the U.S. and the U.K., including financial sanctions.

In parallel, Brussels is also discussing with other G7 countries removing the trade benefits that Russia enjoys at the World Trade Organization, with an announcement potentially coming later today.

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