EU ambassadors approved on Wednesday new sanctions on Moscow, including a ban on gold imports and an asset freeze for Sberbank.
“(EU) Ambassadors approved the next sanctions package in response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine,” the Czech government, which holds the current six-month rotating presidency of the European Council, wrote on Twitter.
The new measures ban the imports of Russian gold and jewelry and freeze the assets of Sberbank, Russia’s biggest top lender that has already been excluded from the international payment system SWIFT.
It adds new people and entities to the bloc’s blacklist and also aims to reinforce the implementation of previous sanctions by closing loopholes. The EU measures align with the decision of G7 countries.
It is the 7th round of sanctions on Russia since it launched what it calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine on Feb. 24, and is expected to enter into force on Thursday.
The previous packages targeted, among others, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, banning oil and coal imports, and the export of luxury goods, as well as excluding Russian and Belarusian banks from using the SWIFT system.