EU adopts 'maintain and align' sanctions package against Russia

New measures aimed at strengthening existing economic sanctions against Russia

8F0BB154 F625 4242 884A 594308D88D98

The Council of Ministers approved new measures aimed at strengthening the existing economic sanctions against Russia, perfecting their implementation and enhancing their effectiveness.

Today's "maintenance and alignment" package introduces a new ban on the purchase, import or transfer, directly or indirectly, of gold if it originates in Russia and has been exported from Russia to the EU or any third country thereafter. This ban also covers jewelry.

The package also expands the list of items that may contribute to Russia's military and technological improvement or to the development of the defense and security sector, thereby strengthening export controls for dual-use and advanced technology.

In addition, the new measures extend the existing ban on access to ports and marinas to prevent circumvention of sanctions.

The EU is also introducing some clarifications to existing measures, for example in the area of ​​public procurement, aviation and justice. In particular, technical assistance to Russia for aeronautical goods and technology will be permitted to the extent necessary to ensure the technical industry standard-setting work of the International Civil Aviation Organization, and the ban on dealing with Russian public bodies will be slightly modified to ensure access in justice.

In order to avoid any negative consequences for food and energy security around the world, the EU has decided to extend the exemption from the ban on transactions with certain state entities with regard to transactions for agricultural products and the transfer of oil to third countries.

It is underlined that the EU is committed to avoiding all measures that could lead to food insecurity around the world. None of the measures adopted today or earlier in view of Russia's actions destabilizing the situation in Ukraine in any way target trade in agricultural products and food, including wheat and fertilizers, between third countries and Russia.

Similarly, the EU measures do not prevent third countries and their nationals operating outside the EU from purchasing pharmaceutical or medical products from Russia.

In addition to the financial sanctions, the Council decided to add additional individuals and entities to the lists and strengthen reporting requirements, placing burdens on sanctioned individuals in order to facilitate the freezing of their assets in the EU.

It is noted that the EU stands firmly by Ukraine and will continue to provide strong support for Ukraine's overall economic, military, social and economic resilience, including humanitarian assistance.

The EU strongly condemns Russia's indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure and urges Russia to immediately and unconditionally withdraw all its troops and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. International humanitarian law, including the treatment of prisoners of war, must be respected. Ukrainians, especially children, who have been forcibly removed to Russia must be immediately allowed to return safely. Russia, Belarus and all those responsible for war crimes and other serious crimes will be held accountable for their actions in accordance with international law, the Council's statement stressed.

Source: RES-EAP