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EU doing all to avoid new war in heart of Europe - Borrell.

The EU has agreed on a tough package of sanctions against Russia for its actions against Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and it continues to do everything possible to find diplomatic ways to prevent a new war in the heart of Europe, whose risk remains high.

According to Ukrinform, EU High Representative Josep Borrell wrote about this in his own blog published on the website of the European External Action Service.

"Sanctions are only a part of our response [to Russian aggression]. Our diplomatic efforts will continue to stop a new eruption of war in the heart of Europe. The risk of a major conflict is real and we need to prevent it at all costs. So, we will continue our outreach to the United Nations and the OSCE to bring Russia back to the negotiation table," he said.

He noted that Russia had not heard numerous calls from the West to return to finding a diplomatic solution to the current crisis, and last Monday, it recognized the independence of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk "republics" and sent troops there. In response to this situation, the EU held an Extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council last Tuesday and unanimously decided in close coordination with its partners to adopt a package of sanctions.

This package targets the 351 members of the Russian State Duma who voted for this recognition as well as 27 individuals and entities that threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. This will cover the political, military, business and media sectors. The sanctions package also targets the economic relations between the two regions and the European Union, exactly as was done in the Crimea case.

"The package will also target the ability of the Russian State to access the EU's capital and financial markets. In parallel, the German government has decided to suspend the certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline," Borrell said.

A list of EU sanctions in connection with Russia's aggressive actions is to be published in the Official Journal of the EU soon.

On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees recognizing two self-proclaimed entities in the temporarily occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. The agreements concluded between these quasi-republics and Russia provide for the provision of military assistance to them. Russia has thus openly acknowledged its military presence in certain districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and sent additional units of the Russian army there.

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