European governments have agreed new sanctions against Russia, targeting its oil, finance and defence industries, in response to the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine.

Moscow’s technologies and dual-use goods with both defence and civilian purposes are also being targeted as part of the fresh action on whole sectors of the Russian economy, a diplomat said.

Measures include a ban on future arms import and export sales and restrictions on certain oil exploration and oil drilling related products.

Russian state-owned banks will also find restrictions on access to European financial markets, meaning their costs could rise.

The capitals of all 28 nations will now look at and rubber-stamp what has been agreed, which will be reviewed after three months.

The move is seen as an extension of existing US and EU sanctions which have focused on wealthy individuals, imposing travel bans and asset freezes on members of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle – his so-called ‘cronies’.

Eight more names are being added to that list of individuals and entities, some of whom are understood to be very close to Mr Putin who has shown no sign of altering his stance over the Ukraine crisis.

Sky’s Europe Correspondent Robert Nisbet said: “These powerful sanctions have been agreed, they haven’t yet been applied, but will they back Mr Putin into a corner and make him more aggressive when it comes to his attitude towards eastern Ukraine?”… see more

source: skynews