EU Considering Omitting Putin for Now as it Weighs New Russia Sanctions

BRUSSELS — European Union ambassadors in Brussels moved nearer to consensus on a major package deal of sanctions concentrating on broad sectors of the Russian economic system and people on Thursday, however had been debating whether or not to maintain President Vladimir V. Putin off their checklist for now, diplomats who participated in or had been briefed on the talks stated.

The ambassadors met on Thursday morning, simply hours after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and had been scheduled to satisfy once more within the afternoon to arrange for negotiations that E.U. leaders will maintain in Brussels on Thursday night about an general response to the invasion.

Diplomats stated that earlier resistance by some international locations over particular sectors — for instance, by Italy over luxurious items and Belgium over diamonds — had evaporated within the face of the invasion and that there was now broad consensus throughout the 27 member states.

The E.U.’s prime diplomat, Josep Borrell Fontelles, described the proposed measures on Thursday morning because the “the harshest package deal of sanctions we have now ever carried out.”

However a brand new rift emerged: A handful of member states led by Germany had been advocating that the package deal exclude Mr. Putin for now.

Requested for remark, a German diplomat didn’t deny that Germany needed to maintain Mr. Putin off the newest sanctions.

The rationale for omitting him is a need to maintain channels open for dialogue with the highest Russian management. They had been contemplating exempting Overseas Minister Sergei V. Lavrov for a similar purpose.

However different member states argued that the bloc ought to instantly inflict the utmost attainable ache on Russia somewhat than maintain again in hopes of renewed diplomatic dialogue.

E.U. leaders had been scheduled to convene in Brussels on Thursday night and had been anticipated to satisfy by way of the evening. The sanctions they’re anticipated to agree on will come into impact when the authorized language is printed, on Friday or Saturday, diplomats stated.

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