BRUSSELS, July 22 (UPI) -- The European Union agreed Tuesday to impose further sanctions on Russia after the attack in Ukraine on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 by a suspected Russian missile.
The list of sanctioned officials and businesses was not released. EU representatives in Brussels stopped short of targeting entire sectors of the Russian economy, but ordered preparation of a list of sectors by Thursday. Sanction measures could then be put into action if Russia continues what the EU considers a destabilization of Ukraine.
"The cronies of (Russian President) Mr. Putin and his clique in the Kremlin are the people who have to bear the pressure, because it is only them feeling the pressure that will in turn put pressure on the Russian government," British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said. "If the financial interests of the group around the leadership are affected, the leadership will know about it."
While Britain is leading the push for sanctions, EU members formerly part of the Soviet bloc are particularly eager to see sanctions placed against Russia.
"Sometimes by our inaction, by our 'wait' position, we are becoming part of the problem. It (the downing of the aircraft) must be (a) turning point in our mindset. I don't know what else should happen in order to understand with whom we are dealing," said Linas Linkevicius, Latvian foreign minister.
Enthusiasm for sanctions varies from country to country. Italy and Germany have been reluctant to take the lead on sanctions, fearing they will jeopardize their importation of Russian natural gas.