What will the new sanctions against Russia achieve?

The EU member states have agreed on new sanctions against Russia. The measures, which will take effect as of Wednesday, affect banks, financial markets, trade and individuals. US President Joe Biden has also announced financial sanctions. If Russia further escalates the situation the EU will adopt additional measures, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced. Europe's press is still not satisfied.

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The Irish Times (IE) /

No half measures

The West should respond with full economic force to Russia's actions, The Irish Times demands:

“Putin's move in Luhansk and Donetsk is not mere symbolism; it will have very real and lasting effects. By recognising the two entities, both run by puppet-leaders, as independent states, he can invade on the pretext of protecting them. Even if Putin goes no further, that will be a serious breach of international law and an open challenge to Europe and the US. Anything less than the full and immediate imposition of the tough sanctions package agreed by western allies in recent weeks would amount to a terrible failure.”

Lidové noviny (CZ) /

Putin is used to sanctions

Lidové noviny has few illusions about the effect of Western sanctions:

“They'll affect three hundred Russian MPs, dozens of other officials, banks and Russia's access to the EU's financial and capital markets. However, these are things that Russia had to reckon with. ... Let's stop fooling ourselves. Latvian Foreign Minister Rinkevičs said the sanctions should 'stop Putin from aggravating the situation further'. With all due respect, that's wishful thinking. Putin has become used to sanctions as a kind of natural phenomenon, like gravity. If he decides to 'neutralise' Ukraine, sanctions aren't going to stop him.”

Verslo žinios (LT) /

Fist must be clenched even tighter

The business paper Verslo žinios also sees the sanctions as inadequate:

“Time will tell how hard the sanctions hit Russia (if at all). But it's already clear that they are pretty weak, even though the threats sounded tougher. Putin is not named on the list at all, meaning that not only he but also the stock markets can breathe a sigh of relief. Tougher measures were expected. Such tame sanctions are not about to halt Putin's mania regarding Ukraine. ... The Kremlin has once again shifted a red line in its favour. ... How many times will it be allowed to do this? Like all criminals, Putin and all his hawks will only stop when they see a tightly clenched fist right under their noses. ”

De Morgen (BE) /

Ukraine needs a blue UN steel wall

The UN Security Council should also crack down on Moscow, De Morgen urges:

“Putin claims he's sending 'peacekeepers' to the Donbass. The other permanent members of the Security Council could put him on the spot: You want peacekeepers? Then why not real blue helmets? If Putin vetoes this, he'll show his true colours. ... The reality is that the Putin we heard talking on Monday night won't stop until his army slams into a steel wall. It would be better if that wall were painted UN blue than deep red with the blood that now threatens to be shed.”