Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev and president Vladimir Putin. Image courtesy of Russavia/Wikimedia Commons.

The U.S. and EU are preparing to tighten financial sanctions against Russian oil companies including Rosneft, Gazprom and pipeline operator Transneft that would prohibit the companies from receiving bank loans with a maturity date longer than 30 days.

The sanctions won the green light on Friday and are expected to be officially implemented on Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal said.

The new sanctions would also affect five state controlled banks in Russia including Gazprom Bank.

In August, Rosneft asked the Russian government for $40 billion in aid to alleviate the financial strain caused by the sanctions.

The new sanctions will not target Russia’s gas sector. The export of space and civilian nuclear technologies to Russia are also unaffected by the sanctions.

Exports of technology and equipment for deepwater exploration and production to Russia is already barred along with the exploitation of oil and gas resources in the Russian Arctic and at onshore shale plays.

According to the Hague-based Clingendael International Energy Program, about 30 percent of natural gas used in Europe is supplied by Gazprom. About half of that gas is exported through Ukraine.

Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev said Russia will close its airspace to Western flights if the new round of sanctions are imposed.

The sanctions were spurred by the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine where Russia has been providing support for pro-Russia rebels who do not want Ukraine to develop closer ties with the EU.


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