EU envoys agree on more Russia sanctions. LNG imports are among the targets.

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union ambassadors have reached agreement on a “powerful and substantial” new series of sanctions that are part of its ongoing response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the bloc’s Belgian presidency said Thursday.

“This package provides new targeted measures and maximizes the impact of existing sanctions by closing loopholes,” the presidency posted on the social media platform X. Full details are likely to be released early next week if EU foreign ministers endorse the measures as expected on Monday.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, whose team drafted the sanctions, posted that the package will “deny Russia access to key technologies. It will strip Russia of further energy revenues. And tackle Putin’s shadow fleet and shadow banking network abroad.”

The measures will notably target imports of Russian liquid natural gas and make it harder to move around. The EU estimates that about 4 billion-6 billion cubic meters (141 billion-212 billion cubic feet) of Russian LNG was shipped on to third countries via EU ports last year.

More than 100 more officials and “entities” are set to be targeted with asset freezes and travel bans. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as well as scores of lawmakers and several oligarchs are among more than 1,700 people already listed.

The more than 400 entities currently hit include companies working in the military, aviation, shipbuilding and machine sectors, the Wagner mercenary group, political parties and banks. Around 210 billion euros ($225 billion) worth of Russian Central Bank assets are blocked in the EU.

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