Government Communications Department
(Translation. Originally published in Finnish on 29 July 2014)
Authorised by the European Council, the EU Council's Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) has today agreed on new restrictive measures against Russia. The measures relate to the four sectors decided on by the EU Foreign Ministers in their Council meeting last week. The decisions will limit access to EU capital markets for Russian State-owned financial institutions, impose an embargo on trade in arms, establish an export ban for dual use goods for military end users, and curtail Russian access to sensitive technologies particularly in the field of the oil sector. The decisions were made unanimously.
- The crisis in eastern Ukraine has not de-escalated despite our efforts to find a negotiated solution. The situation left the EU countries with no other option than to reinforce the sanctions. In its conclusions at the end of June, the European Council called on Russia to take action to stabilise the situation in Ukraine but Russia has failed to promote positive developments in the area. It is regrettable, that the Union must introduce additional restrictive measures against Russia but it was now inevitable. We will naturally continue active efforts to exert influence both on the EU level and through bilateral discussions to resolve the crisis, Prime Minister Stubb said.
Stubb emphasises that the Ukraine crisis must be settled peacefully and that all parties must commit themselves to negotiations based on President Poroshenko's peace plan.
The agreed measures affect only a very small part of the trade between Finland and Russia, so the overall impact on Finland will not be severe. However, the effect on different businesses will vary. With stagnating economic activity in Russia, the Finnish economy may also suffer indirect negative effects.
- Throughout the spring and summer, we have worked with the European Commission to ensure that the effects would be equally distributed among the EU Member States and that the package of agreed measures would be acceptable from Finland's point of view, too. I am content with the way our influencing has worked, Stubb said.
The Permanent Representatives Committee also decided that the list of visa bans and asset freezes will be expanded to include new names of persons or entities that actively support or are benefiting from the Russian decision makers. The Committee also agreed on principles which will enable to limit investment and trade with Crimea and Sevastopol.
Inquiries: Lauri Tierala, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister (EU Affairs), tel. +358 40 841 7141 and Pete Pokkinen, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister (Press Relations), tel. +358 40 756 7180, Prime Minister's Office and Pilvi-Sisko Vierros-Villeneuve, Ambassador, Finland's Permanent Representative to the European Union, tel. +32 2 2878 422