The G7 has said tougher sanctions on Russia could be imposed as soon as today. EU ambassadors are holding an emergency meeting in Brussels.
The EU will extend travel bans and asset freezes to more people involved in the Ukraine intervention. For now, Washington is treading the same path though maybe more explicitly targeting Vladimir Putin’s “cronies”.
Barack Obama is already looking ahead to a third round of measures and hinted at impatience with Europe, saying there had to be a united front if future sanctions on sectors of the Russian economy were to have real bite.
One key question for this week’s measures will be whether Rosneft’s Igor Sechin and Gazprom’s Alexei Miller are put in the firing line this time. A top Obama aide said the measures would target people in Putin’s inner circle who have a significant impact on the Russian economy and the companies they control, and would also curb high-tech exports to Russia’s defense industry.
In eastern Ukraine, there’s been a lot of brinkmanship over the holding by separatists of eight European observers who were there under the auspices of the OSCE.