The EU has agreed to expand its sanctions list over the Crimea referendum by 12 more people, bringing the total to 33, said European Council President Van Rompuy. The EU also canceled the upcoming EU-Russia summit, along with other bilateral summits.
The second round of sanctions includes asset freezes and travel bans.
The EU expanded the list of people affected by the sanctions following a summit in Brussels on Thursday and stated that more economic measures could be introduced if the situation in Ukraine escalates.
“We are ready to start stage three if there is further escalation with a view to Ukraine, those are economic sanctions and we asked the European Commission today to do preparatory work for possible economic sanctions,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.
French President Francois Hollande declined to give details of the names added to the list, but stressed that it included Russians and Crimeans.
Hollande also told reporters after the meeting that he is urging Russia to pursue dialogue. “Russia must understand that it cannot continue, that it must take the path of dialogue,” Hollande said. “Borders cannot be redrawn and a region allowed to pass from one nation to another without a response.”
EU leaders asked the European Commission to look into the impact that broad economic sanctions could have on Russia, Van Rompuy told reporters.
“We strongly condemn the unconstitutional referendum in Crimea; we will not recognise it, nor will we recognise the annexation,” he said in his statement.
The EU will also be organizing its own observer mission to Ukraine if the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) does not send its own mission.
The canceled EU-Russia summit was scheduled for June 3 in Sochi, Russia…. see more