International community prepares to impose sanctions against Russia

The international community is preparing this Tuesday to announce sanctions against Russia following the decision of the president of that country, Vladimir Putin, to recognize the independence of the self-proclaimed pro-Russian republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, in Ukrainian territory, and to deploy the army to carry out “peacekeeping functions”.

According to the international community, Putin’s decision means burying the agreements of Minsk for a peaceful settlement in the Donbas region, in addition to an attack against the territorial integrity of a state and a forced modification of the current borders in Europe.

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The measures of the European Union

The European Union (EU) will adopt sanctions against Russia this Tuesday after its recognition of the independence of the separatist regions of eastern Ukraine, announced the head of the bloc’s diplomacy, Josep Borrell.

In Paris, where a European forum on cooperation is being held, Borrell announced that he urgently summoned the EU foreign ministers and that “this afternoon (Tuesday) the sanctions to be taken will be decided.”

“We must act quickly, this means this afternoon, in Paris”, he said, without giving details about the sanctions and estimating that they will be approved “unanimous”.

A group of the Ukrainian National Guard carried out military exercises and maneuvers this weekend.

Borrell stressed that “a large-scale invasion is not taking place right now, but Russian troops have entered Ukrainian territory,” in Donbas .

The EU warned on Monday that it would approve sanctions if Moscow recognized the independence of the pro-Russian breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine.

“There are different measures and their degree depends the level of aggression,” according to Borrell.

Putin recognized on Monday the independence of these two regions and ordered Russian troops to enter these territories, thus challenging Western countries, whose relations with Russia are experiencing worst crisis since the end of the Cold War.

(Also: Putin orders ‘keep the peace’ in Ukraine’s separatist territories)

United States sanctions

The United States also said that the mart en will impose sanctions on Moscow following a cautious reaction to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order.

We plan to announce new sanctions on Russia tomorrow (Tuesday) in response to the decisions and actions Moscow took today. We are coordinating the announcement with our allies and partners,” a White House spokesman told AFP.

(Keep reading: The US assures that Russia has implemented its plan to invade Ukraine)

This decision will come after President Joe Biden already imposed limited sanctions on the two Russian-backed areas in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine that Putin already recognized as independent.

But a senior US official declined to say whether the forces sent by Putin under the label of “peacekeeping” forces could be considered an invasion, which would trigger much stronger reactions.

“We are going to assess what Russia has done,” the official told reporters, stressing that Russian forces have already been covertly deployed in separatist areas for eight years.