The European Union has implemented a new package of sanctions against Russia with export restrictions worth more than 11 billion euros. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen spoke of the "most far-reaching sanctions of all time, which are decimating Russia's war arsenal and deeply interfering with its economy".
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said: "We will continue to increase the pressure on Russia - for as long as necessary until Ukraine is freed from brutal Russian aggression."
The permanent representatives of the EU states had already agreed on the new measures on Friday, the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is the tenth package of sanctions since February last year. It became effective when it was published in the EU Official Journal on Saturday evening.
These sanctions have been decided:
Specifically, further export bans are planned for 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 should be export restrictions for electronic components that could 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.
According to the EU Commission, the EU has now restricted exports totaling almost 44 billion euros. This corresponds to almost half of all exports to Russia in the year before the war.
In addition, there are new import restrictions worth almost 1.3 billion euros for synthetic rubber and bitumen, for example. According to the EU Commission, imports worth more than 90 billion euros are now affected by the import restrictions - around 58 percent of imports in 2021.
Action is also to be taken against Russia's supply of civilian goods that can be used for military purposes, such as drones. According to the EU Commission, seven companies from Iran are being sanctioned for being involved in supplying Russia with Shahed-type drones and using parts from the EU.
People affected too
As with previous packages, additional sanctions will be imposed on individuals and entities accused of undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. They are no longer allowed to enter the EU and any assets they may have in the EU must be frozen. 87 other people and 34 organizations are affected. According to the Council of Member States, the EU has now placed a total of 1473 people and 205 organizations on the sanctions list for this reason.
Among the new listings is Alfa-Bank, which is said to be Russia's largest privately held financial institution. Its most influential shareholders have been on the EU sanctions list since last year, including the bank's billionaire founder Mikhail Fridman. In addition, the punitive measures are intended to hit Tinkoff Bank and Rosbank.
Also included on the sanctions list were deputy ministers, Russian government officials, those responsible for the deportation and forced adoption of Ukrainian children, propagandists and new members of the Russian Federation Council.
Sanctions also hit Iranians
In addition, Iranians who are said to be involved in the production of drones and parts to support the Russian military are sanctioned. Among other sanctions regimes, the EU has now also imposed sanctions on eleven other members and seven institutions associated with the Russian mercenary group Wagner. Some of them are accused of serious human rights violations in the Central African Republic and in Sudan, others are said to endanger security or stability in Mali. Two people were sanctioned in connection with the Ukraine war. You are said to have been involved as a commander in the capture of the small town of Soledar in the Donetsk region in January 2023.
In order to take action against Russian propaganda, the two broadcasters RT Arabic and Sputnik Arabic are also to be banned.
In addition, with a view to possible use for the reconstruction of Ukraine, all frozen assets of the Russian Central Bank and other frozen Russian assets in the EU must be reported in the future. In addition, Russians will no longer be allowed to sit on the executive bodies of companies in the EU that are responsible for critical infrastructure such as energy supply.