Source: Business Today
As the Ukraine crisis escalates since Russia invaded the country on Thursday following President Vladimir Putin's announcement of "military operation", the European Union (EU) is preparing to freeze the assets of Putin and his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov under the sanctions package being pushed through on Friday, Financial Times reported quoting three people familiar with the matter.
Foreign ministers are planning to approve the sanctions package this afternoon, along with a number of measures against Russian banks and industry, the people said, according to the report.
EU foreign ministers will meet in Brussels from 1400 GMT to thrash out details of a package of sanctions - the EU's second this week - that was agreed in principle by their leaders at an emergency summit that ran into the early hours of Friday.
This means countries that sell their products to Russia will see trade revenues fall. Russia, Europe's main energy supplier, could retaliate by curbing gas, oil and coal sales to the EU, though this would be costly for Moscow.
Putin and Lavrov will not, however, be subject to a ban on traveling under the measures, underlining the EU’s willingness to keep symbolic diplomatic possibilities open, the FT report further stated.
Meanwhile, European Central Bank's chief economist Philip Lane has told fellow policymakers the Ukraine conflict may reduce the Euro Zone's GDP by 0.3-0.4 percent this year.