BRUSSELS - The new EU sanctions against Russia will stop the access of Russian banks to European financial markets, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday.
The sanctions will target strategic sectors of the Russian economy by blocking their access to technologies and markets that are key for Russia. The sanctions will weaken Russia's economic base and its capacity to modernize. And in addition, we will freeze Russian assets in the European Union and stop the access of Russian banks to European financial markets, Leyen said.
She reminded that the EU is Russia's largest trade partner.
The EU leaders might approve the new sanctions at an extraordinary summit on Thursday.
The first package of sanctions was applied on Wednesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized independence of Ukraine's separatist regions.
On Thursday Putin announced that a military action has been started in Ukraine, targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure, airports.