EU moves closer to imposing more sanctions on Russia

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The European Union moved closer to imposing more sanctions on Russia after its 27 ambassadors backed a series of measures to ban gold imports and tighten export controls on some high-technology goods.

The Czech Republic, which holds the EU presidency, said “the new measures will align the EU with G7 partners, reinforce implementation and close loopholes where necessary.”

If no objections are raised by national capitals by early Thursday, it will be published in the official journal, after which details of the limited package will become available.

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EU officials have been seeking all week to tighten the extensive package of sanctions on Russia and looking at ways to add a ban on gold exports in hopes that the measures might finally start to have a decisive impact on the war in Ukraine.

On Wednesday, the ambassadors clinched a breakthrough. EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said Monday that at the moment “the most important thing is a ban on Russian gold,” which is Moscow’s second largest export industry after energy.

The G-7 group of leading industrial nations last month already committed to a gold ban, arguing the Russia has used its gold to back up its currency to circumvent the impact of several rounds of sanctions that nations around the world had already imposed on Moscow for its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

On top of the restrictive measures, the EU also decided to grant 500 million euros to boost military aid to Ukraine.

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