The Council of the European Union, following the approval by EU ambassadors, approved the fifth round of sanctions against the Russian Federation in response to its invasion of Ukraine.
As the Council of EU informs, the package reinforces pressure on the Russian government and economy and limits the Kremlin’s resources for the aggression.
“These latest sanctions were adopted following the atrocities committed by Russian armed forces in Bucha and other places under Russian occupation. The aim of our sanctions is to stop the reckless, inhuman and aggressive behaviour of the Russian troops and make clear to the decision makers in the Kremlin that their illegal aggression comes at a heavy cost,” said Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
The package comprises six parts:
- a prohibition to purchase, import or transfer coal and other solid fossil fuels into the EU if they originate in Russia or are exported from Russia, as from August 2022. Imports of coal into the EU are currently worth EUR 8 billion per year.
- a prohibition to provide access to EU ports to vessels registered under the flag of Russia. Derogations are granted for agricultural and food products, humanitarian aid, and energy.
- a ban on any Russian and Belarusian road transport undertaking preventing them from transporting goods by road within the EU, including in transit. Derogations are nonetheless granted for a number of products, such as pharmaceutical, medical, agricultural and food products, including wheat, and for road transport for humanitarian purposes.
- further export bans, targeting jet fuel and other goods such as quantum computers and advanced semiconductors, high-end electronics, software, sensitive machinery and transportation equipment, and new import bans on products such as: wood, cement, fertilisers, seafood and liquor. The agreed export and import bans only account for EUR 10 billion and EUR 5.5 billion respectively.
- a series of targeted economic measures intended to strengthen existing measures and close loopholes.
- sanctions against companies whose products or technology have played a role in the invasion, key oligarchs and businesspeople, high-ranking Kremlin officials, proponents of disinformation and information manipulation, as well as family members of already sanctioned individuals.
Moreover, a full transaction ban is imposed on four key Russian banks representing 23% of market share in the Russian banking sector. After being de-SWIFTed these banks will now be subject to an asset freeze, thereby being completely cut off from EU markets.
Yesterday, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said in his video address to Ukrainians that really painful restrictions must be imposed on Russia, otherwise it would regard the position of the world community as permission to continue the war.
“If there is no really painful package of sanctions against Russia and if there is no supply of weapons we really need and have applied for many times, it will be considered by Russia as a permission. A permission to go further. A permission to attack. A permission to start a new bloody wave in Donbas,” the Head of State said.