EU foreign ministers focus on tightening Russia sanctions

European Union foreign ministers are focused on tightening sanctions on Russia and looking at ways to add a ban on gold exports in the hope that the measures will have a decisive impact on the war in Ukraine.

U foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said 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 G7 group of leading industrial nations have already committed to a gold ban last month, arguing that 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 after its February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

In Brussels, the 27 ministers will also assess how they can tighten controls on exports of high technology to Russia for a possible decision later in the week.

On top of the restrictive measures, the ministers will also assess plans to boost military aid to Ukraine, and will be briefed on the latest developments through a video conference with the country’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba.

Lithuanian foreign minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said: “If anything needs to be continued, it is weapons deliveries.

“And anybody who can who can do that, obviously, this is the main industrial countries of of the Western world. They have to step up with that,” he added, insisting it was also essential to secure the port of Odesa enough to make sure grain shipments could resume.

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