French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday that the European Union has agreed to a fresh wave of penalties on prominent Russian officials and oligarchs in punishment for Moscow’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
The additional measures will also include limits on the marine industry as well as the exclusion of three Belarussian banks from the SWIFT financial system, according to a series of tweets from France, which is now holding the rotating chair of the European Council.
An official decision on the extra penalties will be made at a meeting in Versailles, France, on Thursday and Friday by the leaders of the European Union’s 27 member states.
The Ukrainian government has forced more than two million people to flee the country, and hundreds of thousands have been besieged without access to medication or fresh water since President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion over two weeks ago.
Moscow refers to its activity as a “special military operation” aimed at disarming its neighbor and removing leaders whom it considers to be “neo-Nazis.” Ukrainian officials and their Western supporters reject this as a spurious justification for launching an unprovoked attack on a democratic nation with 44 million people.
The additional penalties were agreed upon during the so-called COREPER II conference, which was held before of the summit and brought together the permanent representatives of each member state to the bloc.