The United States and Europe put aside their differences and agreed Monday to sharply escalate economic sanctions against Russia in a set of coordinated actions driven by the conclusion that Moscow has taken a more direct role in the war in Ukraine.
European leaders had been hesitant to go as far as the Americans. But the two sides have settled on a package of measures that would target Russia’s financial, energy and defense sectors. In some cases, the Europeans may actually leapfrog beyond what the United States has done, forcing Washington to try to catch up. U.S. and European officials said the leaders agreed that Russia has not only not backed down since the shooting of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet but has accelerated its involvement in the civil war.
“They agreed on the importance of coordinated sanctions measures on Russia for its continued transfer of arms, equipment and fighters in eastern Ukraine, including since the crash, and to press Russia to end its efforts to destabilize the country and instead choose a diplomatic path to resolving the crisis,” Antony J. Blinken, deputy national security adviser, told reporters.
The sanctions would have major consequences for European countries, notably the French weapons industry and the British banking industry. But they have been developed in a way that limits some of the most direct risks.
new york times