With a military intervention in Ukraine off the table for now, countries around the world looked to heap more financial punishment on Moscow, including the European Union’s approval of an asset freeze on Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
The EU’s unanimous decision, part of a broader sanctions package, indicated that Western powers are moving toward unprecedented measures to try to force Putin to stop the brutal invasion of Russia’s neighbor and from unleashing a major war in Europe.
Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics tweeted that the 27-nation bloc’s foreign ministers adopted the sanctions package and “the asset freeze includes President of Russia and its Foreign Minister.”
Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said the move would be “a unique step in history toward a nuclear power, a country that has a permanent seat on the Security Council, but also shows … how united we are.” It was unclear what the practical impact on the two men would be and how important their assets in the EU were.
Source: The Associated Press