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European Commission announces proposal on new Russian sanctions

European Commission announces proposal on new Russian sanctions
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gives a joint press statement in Brussels on February 27. She said on Tuesday that a proposal of new sanctions would target Russian coal. Photo by Stephanie Lecocq/EPA-EFE

April 5 (UPI) -- European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Tuesday that the fifth round of sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine will include bans on its coal and ships, sparked by the grisly deaths of civilians in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha.

The new sanctions, which still must be approved by all 27 European Union member states, would start to chip away at Russia's rich energy economy.

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"These atrocities cannot and will not be left unanswered," Leyen said in a statement. "The perpetrators of these heinous crimes must not go unpunished.

"Russia is waging a cruel and ruthless war, not only against Ukraine's brave troops but also against its civilian population. It is important to sustain utmost pressure on Putin and the Russian government at this critical point."

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Leyen said the new round of sanctions would include six areas starting with banning Russian coal imports worth $4.38 billion annually.

"This will cut another important revenue source for Russia," Leyen said.

Leyen said other sanctions would include a ban on four key Russian banks, among them VTB, the second largest Russian bank and on Russian vessels, particularly those accessing alliance ports.

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Other bans include restrictions on agricultural and food products, targeted export bans that include quantum computers and advanced semiconductors; along with products from wood to cement, to seafood and liquor.

"To take a clear stand is not only crucial for us in Europe but also for the rest of the world; a clear stand against Putin's war of choice, a clear stand against the massacre of civilians and a clear stand against the violation of the fundamental principles of the world order," Leyen said.

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