The measure has been approved by EU member states’ ambassadors based on last week’s decision of EU leaders.
Among 18 organizations are 9 companies and 9 institutions, including power structures formed by alleged Russian mercenaries in the east of Ukraine.
The names of people and organizations who will be affected by the sanctions will be announced this Friday or Saturday, according to EU sources.
According to the provisional list acquired by Bloomberg news agency, the highest ranking officials of Russian intelligence and security structures have been added to the blacklist. Some of these people have served under Vladimir Putin since the end of the Cold War.
The list includes the head of the Russian Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov, Director of Foreign Intelligence Mikhail Fradkov, Chairman of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev and Kremlin supporter and President of Chechnya Ramzan Kadirov.
EU sanctions now target Putin’s colleagues from the Intelligence Service. Like Putin, Bortnikov joined the KGB in 1975. Patrushev had entered the service one year earlier. Fradkov was the USSR trade representative and diplomat later on.
Bloomberg reports that 9 organizations formed by pro-Russian separatists in the east of Ukraine and nine state-owned companies in Crimea that were confiscated by Russia after the annexation of the peninsula have also been added to the blacklist.
Under pressure after the downing of the Malaysia Airlines passenger plane in eastern Ukraine, EU ambassadors have also discussed other plans that are not limited to visa restrictions and freezing of assets.
During their meeting this Tuesday, EU Foreign Ministers ordered experts to examine the possibility of applying new sanctions against Russia, this time focusing on defence, energy and financial sectors. Minister also discussed the necessity of adding an arms trade embargo on Russia.
British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond said the tragedy of the Malaysian plane took place solely because Russia supported gangs of “Russian mercenaries and their associates in Eastern Ukraine”.
The Ukrainian government believes the passenger plane was shot down by a missile launched from a Buk surface-to-air missile launcher that was provided to separatists by the Russian army.