RIGA - Work on the next round of sanctions against Russia must get under way already now, the European Commission's Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said in an interview with Latvian Television.
The Western world, including several Asian countries, adopted the second batch of sanctions against Russia, which will affect a large number of industries and have a serious impact on Russia, in just two days, said Dombrovskis.
There are no precise estimates yet as to how the sanctions will affect Russia, but it is clear that the sanctions agreed upon so far will hit 70 percent of the Russian financial sector, said Dombrovskis. There are different reports coming in, but some say that the Russian Central Bank has already begun interventions into financial markets trying to stabilize the situation, which proves that the sanctions are already hurting the Russian economy.
In the meantime, the European Union must continue looking for new ways to support Ukraine, said Dombrovskis.
He also finds it regrettable that China, the world's second largest economy, has opposed sanctions against Russia.
Dombrovskis also believes that Europe should already be working to achieve that Europe no longer depends on Russia by the next heating season. Based on current estimates, if Russia halts gas supplies to Europe, that will cause problems, however, there are alternative energy supply options.
As reported, Russia invaded Ukraine early Thursday morning.