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New EU sanctions to target Russian trade

29 September 2022, 21:56 CET
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New EU sanctions to target Russian trade

Josep Borrell - Photo © European Union 2022

(RUSSIA) - Following recent escalation of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and its 'sham referenda' to facilitate annexation of occupied territories, the EU presented Wednesday a new package of 'biting' sanctions.

The new sanctions respond to 'referenda' organised in the territories that Russia occupies, seen as 'an illegal attempt to grab land and to change international borders by force'.

Russia's mobilisation and Vladimir Putin's threat to use nuclear weapons are further steps on the escalation path, and the EU has been speedy in itsw reponse saying it will not accept the "sham referenda nor any kind of annexation in Ukraine. And we are determined to make the Kremlin pay for this further escalation".

The EU is looking to restrict trade in order to "isolate and hit Russia's economy even more". New import bans on Russian products will keep Russian products out of the European market and deprive Russia of an additional EUR 7 billion in revenues.

Commission president Ursula von der Leyen says the EU is also proposing to extend the list of products that cannot be exported to Russia anymore.This aims at depriving the Kremlin's military complex of key technologies - such as, for example, additional aviation items, or electronic components and specific chemical substances. These bans would additionally weaken Russia's economic base and weaken its capacity to modernise.

"We will also propose additional bans on providing European services to Russia,", said Ms von der Leyen, "and a prohibition for EU nationals to sit on governing bodies of Russian state-owned enterprises. Russia should not benefit from European knowledge and expertise".

Finally, with Russia using the profits from the sale of fossil fuels to finance its war, the Commission president focused on the G7 agreemenet in principle to introduce a price cap on Russian oil for third countries. This oil price cap is aimed at reducing Russia's revenues and also keeping global energy markets stable. The new package lays the legal basis for this oil price cap.

On individual sanctions, the list now extends to more than 1,300 sanctioned, incluyding key decision makers, oligarchs, senior military officials and propagandists, responsible for undermining Ukraine's territorial integrity.

In response to the latest Russian escalation the Commission proposes additional restrictive measures against those supporting, facilitating or benefiting from the invasion of Ukraine. This includes those involved in Russia's occupation and illegal annexation of areas of proxy Russian authorities in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia and other Russian individuals who organised and facilitated the sham "referenda" in these four occupied areas of Ukraine.

High-ranking officials of the Russian Ministry of Defence are added to the list, which now also targets actors who spread disinformation about the war.

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