The European Commission on Wednesday proposed a new package of "biting sanctions" against Russia, aimed at making the Kremlin "pay" for escalating the conflict in Ukraine.
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at a press briefing here that the package comes after the "sham referenda in the Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia."
She explained that the proposed package, the eighth of its kind, will further restrict trade to "isolate and hit Russia's economy even more." This will keep Russian products out of the European market and deprive Moscow of an additional seven billion euros (6.7 billion U.S. dollars) in revenue. The package also includes additional export bans on key technologies used for the military, such as aviation items, electronic components and specific chemical substances.
"These new export bans will additionally weaken Russia's economic basis and weaken its capacity to modernize," she said.
She also said the sanctions package will provide the legal basis for a price cap on Russian oil for third countries and will ban European Union (EU) citizens from sitting on governing bodies of Russian state-owned enterprises.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said at the same press briefing that the EU member states will not recognize the referenda, saying "the Kremlin is following the same playbook that we have already seen in Georgia in 2008 and Crimea in 2014."
Borrell said the EU will extend its list of persons and entities that have been sanctioned. The list currently includes more than 1,300 persons and entities.
The new sanctions will have to be approved unanimously by the EU's 27 member states before they can be imposed.