The European Union currently rules out introducing restrictions against Russia’s national sovereign debt to follow suit of the US, a diplomatic source in a permanent mission of an EU member in Brussels told TASS Thursday.
"The issue of sanctions against Russia’s sovereign debt is not on the agenda of EU institutions, it is not being discussed now and not a single EU member proposed these measures," he said. "A very serious reason is needed for such tough measures. The US accuses Russia of interfering in American elections, but Russia did not attempt anything similar against the EU. The European Union should not be expected to directly follow the US in its sanction policy." According to him, something "extraordinary [should happen] for the EU to do this."
"Brussels adopted economic sectoral sanctions against Russia only once, in July 2014," the diplomat pointed out. "It came as a response to the crash of the Malaysian Boeing." These sanctions still remain in force and are extended once every six months because the EU named implementation of the Minsk Agreements as a condition to lift them, TASS reports.
On Thursday, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order on introducing sanctions against Russia. In particular, the US is barring American companies from acquiring Russian debt obligations issued by the Bank of Russia, the Russian National Wealth Fund or the Russian Ministry of Finance after June 14, 2021. In addition, the US Department of the Treasury introduced sanctions against 16 organizations and 16 individuals allegedly responsible for Russia’s rumored interference in the US elections. Also, restrictions were placed on five individuals and three legal entities in connection with Crimea, including the peninsula’s officials.
Additionally, the US is expelling 10 diplomats who work at the Russian Embassy in Washington DC. According to American officials, there are "representatives of Russian intelligence" among them.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier that Moscow would act in accordance with the principle of reciprocity in the relations with Washington. He noted that new US sanctions would not facilitate the organization of a meeting between Putin and Biden proposed by Washington.