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EU formally adopts toughest Russian sanctions yet

Published on Jul 31, 2014 10:30 PM

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union formally adopted sanctions on Thursday curbing arms sales to Russia and cutting off financing for targeted banks over Moscow's support for rebels in Ukraine.

Russia has denounced the measures, agreed by the 28 EU member states on Tuesday, as "destructive and short-sighted", while fighting has intensified in eastern Ukraine between Kiev forces and the pro-Russian separatists.

EU officials say the sanctions aim to inflict maximum pain on Russia and minimum pain on the EU. "We will for sure have an effect and a very substantial and concrete effect on Russia,"one EU official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The toughest measures aim to prevent Russian banks from raising money on Western capital markets, while others limit defence sales and the export of hi-tech equipment for the oil sector. The sanctions law will be published later in the day in the Official Journal of the European Union and takes effect from Friday, Aug 1.

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