Russian energy firms Rosneft and Gazprom Neft were walloped with EU sanctions today.
The “strengthened” sanctions against Russia came into force this morning as legal acts in the EU’s Official Journal were published.
Rosneft had already been indirectly squeezed by Western sanctions – punishment for Russia’s apparent involvement in turbulence across eastern Ukraine – via US pressure on its boss Igor Sechin.
Now the business itself, along with state energy firm Gazprom’s oil producing arm, has been targeted.
They are included on a list of firms banned from getting direct or indirect loans and other financial measures.
The aim is to force Russia to influence peace talks in eastern Ukraine in exchange for removing the fiscal block.
President Herman Von Rompuy said: “We have always stressed the reversibility and scalability of our restrictive measures.”