On the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EU countries agreed on another package of sanctions against Russia after lengthy negotiations. The new punitive measures include additional trade restrictions, as announced by the Swedish EU Council Presidency in Brussels on Friday evening. It is the tenth package of sanctions since February last year.
The agreement was reached in the Committee of Permanent Representatives of all 27 Member States in Brussels. It is now to be formalized in a written procedure by Saturday at 11:30 a.m. The package will come into force once it has been published in the EU Official Journal.
Actually, the new sanctions should already be in effect on the anniversary, but the negotiations took longer than planned. According to diplomats, the main reason for this was that Poland vehemently pushed for stricter rules on import restrictions for synthetic rubber from Russia - but Italy rejected them. Poland finally gave in. According to a Polish diplomat, Warsaw agreed on the condition that imports of synthetic rubber into the EU will be subject to regular checks in the future. In addition, work continues on sanctions against the Russian nuclear sector.
According to earlier information from Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the new trade restrictions will apply in particular to industrial goods that Russian industry cannot obtain from third countries such as China. These include machine parts, antennas, cranes, special vehicles and spare parts for trucks and engines.
In addition, there are said to be export restrictions for around 50 new electronic components that can be used for Russian weapon systems as well as drones, rockets and helicopters. Certain rare earths and thermal imaging cameras are also covered by the new rules.
In order to prevent companies from non-EU countries from supplying Russia with civilian goods that can be used for military purposes, such as drones, the application of the existing sanctions regime will be extended. In the future, companies will have to fear losing access to the EU internal market. In the first step, according to the Commission, several companies from Iran that are said to be involved in supplying Russia with Shahed-type drones will be sanctioned. "We want to use this to scare off other companies and international traders," said von der Leyen in mid-February.
As with previous sanctions packages, the list of people who are no longer allowed to enter the EU and whose assets in the EU must be frozen will also be added. Propagandists, military commanders and political leaders are said to be affected.