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Wed, 30 Jul, 2014 12:00:23 AM
EU to impose additional restrictive measures against Russia
FTimes- Xinhua-STT Report, July 30

 

Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb said on Tuesday that the latest European sanctions against Russia will have no radical impact on the Finnish economy.

He told national YLE radio that the Finnish government has worked intensely towards curbing damage on Finland. The Finnish economy will be affected more through the lack of growth in Russia, he added.
 
News agency STT adds: "The crisis in Eastern Ukraine has not eased although there have been attempts to negotiate for a solution.The situation did not leave the EU countries with other options other than more sanctions." said Stubb in a statement.

According to Stubb the  sanctions concerns market restrictions of Russian state run banks access to the European capital markets ,restriction in arms importation and arms embargo as well as well as restrictions on dual use technology used in both defense and civilian purposes.
 
In addition the sanctions target the oil industry and include restrictions in the oil exploration and equipments used in oil drilling.

The measures are intended to put more pressure on Russia to stop support for the rebels in eastern Ukraine.

According to Stubb, the new sanctions will only apply to a small part of the trade between Finland and Russia. However in the long run the economic problems in Russia will be manifested in the country.

Stubb also pointed out that Finland had been working with the EU Commission during spring and summer so as to ensure that the impact of the measures could be as balanced as possible to the rest of the EU member states and acceptable on the side of Finland.
 
In addition to the economic sanctions, new names were added to the list of individuals slapped with visa restrictions and assets freeze.
 
Earlier Tuesday, the European Union (EU) agreed to launch a new range of economic sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, reported Xinhua.
      
According to Finnish estimates, a decline of 3 percent in the Russian economy will mean 0.5 percent decline in Finland.
    
Describing the sanctions as deplorable but necessary, Stubb underlined that the final impact will depend on possible counter measures taken by Russia.
    
File picture of Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb. Photo AFP - Lehtikuva
Kai Mykkanen, director of Russian affairs in the Confederation of Finnish Industries, said that the length of the sanctions was crucial. If the sanctions are valid for a year, that would kill many business deals, he told YLE.
    
Pekka Sutela, professor of the University of Lappeenranta, told the daily Helsingin Sanomat that Finnish retail chains in Russia could be affected, if Russia chooses to reduce imports of food. Major Finnish retail chains have extensive presence in Russia.
    
Earlier in July Finland managed to avoid the inclusion of cross-border cooperation in the sanctions considered at the time. Finland would have suffered the most within the EU considering its long border and extensive co-operation with Russia. 
 
The European Union (EU) has agreed a package of "significant" additional restrictive measures targeting sectoral cooperation and exchanges with Russia, announced the European Council in a statement on Tuesday.
    
These decisions will limit access to EU capital markets for Russian state-owned financial institutions, impose an embargo on trade in arms, establish an export ban for dual-use goods for military end users, and curtail Russian access to sensitive technologies particularly in the field of the oil sector, according to the statement.
    
The new package reinforces the recently expanded listing of persons and entities "undermining Ukrainian territorial integrity and sovereignty," the statement said.
    
It also strengthens the restriction of investment and trade with Crimea and Sevastopol and the reassessment of the Russia-EU bilateral cooperation "with a view to reducing the level of the cooperation," said the statement.
    
The package is meant as "a strong warning" and "a powerful signal" to Russia that "destabilizing Ukraine or any other Eastern European neighboring country will bring heavy costs to its economy," according to the statement.
    
The EU also emphasized that it remains ready to "reverse" its decisions, and reengage with Russia "when it starts contributing actively and without ambiguities to finding a solution to the Ukrainian crisis."  
 
 
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