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EU ‘close to agreeing on asset freeze’ on Vladimir Putin and Sergei Lavrov

Vladimir Putin (Alexei Nikolsky/AP)
Vladimir Putin (Alexei Nikolsky/AP)

The European Union is “very close to agreement” to freezing the assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin and foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, according to Luxembourg’s foreign minister.

Jean Asselborn said before a meeting of EU foreign ministers to discuss sanctions: “I think we are very close to an agreement, that we will find an agreement here.

“There will be a discussion but I think we agree that Putin and Lavrov, as far as the freezing of assets is concerned, that we will find a consensus here.”

Sergei Lavrov
Sergei Lavrov (Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service/AP)

Mr Asselborn said Russia would be damaged by the banking measures.

“We can’t talk everything on this, talk everything down because we don’t have Swift on the list at this moment. Once again: the debate about Swift is not off the table, it will continue.”

EU leaders largely agreed it was too soon to impose a travel ban on Mr Putin and Mr Lavrov because negotiating channels needed to be kept open.

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