New economic sanctions against Russia may not be adopted by EU leaders until late March, reports Reuters referring to its sources from the EU structures.
EU foreign ministers are expected to ask the executive European Commission on Thursday to prepare a new round of sanctions. According to one of the agency’s reliable sources, the easiest way is to impose financial markets restrictions. The source specified that bans regarding Russian sovereign bonds turnover had been discussed before and ‘would be highly effective in undermining the economic growth potential.’
Another Reuters source said the new measures against Moscow could involve a shortening in the maximum maturity, which would make it harder for vital corporations in the energy sector to refinance themselves.
The officials said one measure under consideration could make it harder or perhaps impossible for Western institutions and investors to buy Russian sovereign debt on issue in the primary market.
Both officials mentioned the possibility of imposing further restrictions on Russian access to advanced technologies in the oil and gas sector, which would make Russia’s ambitions for Arctic exploration more difficult.
The agency notes that disconnecting Russia from SWIFT, an international bank transaction system, was not considered because it could lead to the creation of an alternative system by Russia and other countries that could harm the Belgian-based global clearing house.
No decision regarding any sanctions whatsoever has been made yet, since EU leaders are expected to ask the Commission at a Feb. 12 summit to prepare possible new measures on Russia, one official said. As a rule the whole procedure takes up to five to six weeks, added the source.
Previously, on January 28, Reuters reported that the EU draft statement would extend Russia sanctions by nine months. Those sanctions were imposed in March 2014 against 33 persons for annexing Crimea to Russia.