EU prepares to toughen sanctions on Russia EU Commission says new measures will affect access to capital markets, defense, dual use goods, and sensitive technologies

BRUSSELS (AA) – The European Union is preparing to increase sanctions against Russia unless President Vladimir Putin decides to pull Russian troops out of Ukraine, according to the EU Commission on Wednesday.

“European Commission has adopted proposals for consideration by EU member states to take significant further steps,” EU Commission spokeswoman, Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, said Wednesday in a statement.

The European Union aims to strike the most important sectors of the Russian economy, including the oil and defense sectors.

“New measures regarding the access to capital markets, defense, dual use goods and sensitive technologies,” are being considered, the European Commission said. Hansen said the new measures, once adopted by member states, will be made public in the Official Journal of the European Union.

The dual use goods are products and technologies normally used for civilian purposes but which may have military applications, whereas sensitive technologies are technologies used for the interception of communications, or technologies used to communicate without intelligence services being able to monitor them.

Moscow reacted with severity following EU economic and trade sanctions against Russia by putting an agricultural embargo on EU states.

According to European Commission data last year, the overall EU agricultural exports to Russia were worth €11.3 billion. The Russian embargo measures cover exports worth €5.1bn — 43 percent of these exports.

Brussels accused Moscow of sending Russian troops to Eastern Ukraine to help pro-Russian separatists fight the Ukrainian army, but Kremlin denies these allegations.

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