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EU, US Ramp Up Sanctions on Russia

army stock photoThe U.S. and the European Union have agreed to escalate sanctions on Russia for what U.S. officials say persistent efforts by the Russia government to build up troops in Ukraine, The Associated Press reported Monday.

Julie Pace writes the sanctions could hit Russia’s energy, arms and financial sectors, as well as other parties supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin.

European governments also plan to restrict sales of arms, technologies and equipment for Russia’s oil industry as Moscow continues to support separatist movement in eastern Ukraine, The Guardian reports.

The U.S. severed its connections with Russian banks VTB Bank OAO, Bank of Moscow and the Russian Agricultural Bank, according to the report.

The Guardian’s Julian Borger writes the EU also agreed to block the access of Russia’s state-owned banks to European capital markets and ban Europeans from purchasing financial instruments in Russian banks.

European Council President Herman van Rompuy and European Commission Chief José Manuel Barroso said in a joint statement that the sanctions serve to signal that Europe would not tolerate “Illegal annexation of territory and deliberate destabilization of a neighboring sovereign country,” the report says.

Canada is also joining the U.S. and EU in imposing sanctions on Russia, Al Jazeera reports.

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