European Leaders Meet To Discuss Russian Sanctions

European leaders hold critical talks on Thursday about how to tighten the screws on Russia following its seizure of Crimea, how to support Ukraine’s stricken economy and how best to wean themselves off Russian oil and gas in years to come.

With President Vladimir Putin celebrating Crimea’s addition to the Russian Federation, and his officials mocking the EU’s response so far, leaders are expected add around a dozen names to the 21 Russians and Crimeans already placed on a travel-ban and asset-freeze list.

But while agreeing to expand the list to include figures closer to Putin will be one thing, it is a long way short of the financial and trade sanctions diplomats and analysts say are necessary to make Moscow pay attention.

Speaking ahead of the summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said a discussion of financial sanctions – what the EU is referring to as phase three of its response – would take place at the summit, but no agreement on it is expected.

“The (summit) will make clear that we are ready at any time to introduce phase-three measures if there is a worsening of the situation,” Merkel said in a speech to parliament.

Russian forces took control of the Black Sea peninsula in late February following protests that toppled Moscow-backed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich provoked by his decision to spurn a trade deal with the European Union last November and seek closer ties with Russia.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza