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Post: The EU has announced a new package of sanctions against Russia.


EU’s new sanctions package against Russia includes import-export restrictions and media bans

BRUSSELS, February 26 – RIA Novosti. On Saturday, the EU implemented the tenth consecutive package of new sanctions against Russia, expanding export-import and personal restrictions, and new bans on Russian media.

The tenth package of sanctions, of which the European Commission submitted its proposals on 15 February, was agreed on late in the evening of 24 February. Due to the existence of many disagreements among EU member states, several additional permanent representative meetings were required for its ratification. Earlier, the head of the European Commission and EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, confidently stated that the new restrictions would come into effect on February 24, but even reaching agreement on that date was difficult.

Export-import restrictions

The European Commission estimated the new sanctions package at 11.4 billion euros. At the same time, the EU noted that currently EU exports to Russia have almost halved from 2021 levels, and imports to the EU have been cut by around 60%, respectively.

“Today’s decision imposes further export bans on critical technology and industrial products such as electronics, special vehicles, machinery parts, truck and jet engine spare parts, and construction goods that can be sent to the Russian military, such as antennas or cranes.” said the European Council.

In response, the European Commission declared that “additional export sanctions were imposed on goods that could easily be used to support the military efforts of the Russian Federation”. In particular, we are talking about heavy trucks and their spare parts, semi-trailers, special equipment such as snowmobiles, which were not previously subject to restrictions. Sanctioned goods include generators, binoculars, radars, compasses and more. It is also prohibited to export to Russia for bridge and tower structures, loaders and cranes.

In addition, “important for the Russian industry” products are subject to restrictions, including electrical engineering, equipment spare parts, pumps, metalworking equipment and products used in the aerospace industry.

The transit of European dual-use goods and technologies through the Russian Federation is also prohibited, in order to prevent the circumvention of sanctions.

EU import restrictions cover synthetic rubber and asphalt, as well as bitumen and carbon black.

Sanctions on banks, measures against frozen assets

As part of the 10th package, the EU introduced additional obligations to provide information on the frozen assets of sanctioned persons. The EU has also imposed new reporting obligations on Member States and the European Commission on the immobilized reserves and assets of the Central Bank of Russia. “In order to ensure the effectiveness of the asset freeze bans, the Board decided to introduce more detailed reporting obligations on funds and economic resources held by listed natural and legal persons that were frozen or moved in any way shortly before the listing.” EU Council statement.

Three Russian banks are among those involved in the new personal restrictions: Alfa-Bank, Rosbank and Tinkoff Bank. They are subject to an asset freeze in the EU and a ban on funding and economic resources in Europe.

media ban

Among the media covered by the new European restrictions is the ban on broadcasting and distribution of RT Arabic and Sputnik Arabic. “The Council has initiated the process of suspending broadcast licenses for two additional media outlets: RT Arabic and Sputnik Arabic,” the European Council said in a statement. It was noted that such a measure was allegedly taken “to counter the Russian Federation’s systematic international campaign of disinformation and information manipulation aimed at destabilizing neighboring countries, the EU and its member states”.

The media group “Patriot” was also on the list.

Media group “Russia Today”

The Council of the European Union has included the Russia Today media group in the list of organizations subject to EU sanctions. In the motivating part of the sanctions, it is stated that the media group, including Sputnik, supports the Russian government, especially its actions that “violate the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine”.

Russia Today is a media group affiliated with the Russian government. It is financed from the federal budget of the Russian Federation. Rossiya Segodnya spreads propaganda and pro-government disinformation about Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine through its affiliate media outlet Sputnik.

It is also stated that the media group “disseminated information about the responsibility of Western countries that imposed sanctions on the Russian Federation for the food crisis in Africa.”

Freezing assets means freezing all accounts held by listed individuals and entities in EU banks. It is also prohibited to provide them with any funds or assets, directly or indirectly.

In the statement made by the European Council, specifically regarding personal sanctions, “Asset freezing means the freezing of all accounts of listed persons and entities in EU banks, which is also prohibited to provide directly or indirectly with any funds or assets.” According to him, all legal entities and individuals under EU jurisdiction must comply with the sanctions regime.

At the same time, in accordance with the European Union’s Human Rights Charter, restrictive measures “must not prevent employees of these media outlets from carrying out journalistic activities on the territory of the European Union.”

The European Union constantly imposes sanctions and bans the broadcast of Russian media, explaining this as a claim to protect EU residents from “Kremlin propaganda”.

Therefore, on March 2 last year, the European Union banned the distribution of signals and content of RT and Sputnik on the background of the start of Russia’s special operation in Ukraine. In particular, RT – Russia Today English, RT – Russia Today UK, RT – Russia Today Germany, RT – Russia Today France and RT – Russia Today Spanish and Sputnik are banned. The EU has also suspended the broadcasting of three Russian state television channels on its territory: Rossiya RTR/RTR Planeta, Rossiya 24 and TV Center – International. Then, under the ninth sanctions package, NTV/NTV Mir, Rossiya 1, REN TV and Channel One, media organizations: TV Novosti, founder of RT ANO, and the media holding the National Media Group and VGTRK were banned.

Personal sanctions

The European Council has expanded the list of people involved in personal sanctions, adding 121 more individuals and organizations. Among them, in particular, were: Tatyana Moskalkova, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Russian Federation, Evgeny Primakov, head of Rossotrudnichestvo, military leaders Alexei Avdeev, Mikhail Teplinskiy, Sergei Karakaev, Russian National Welfare Fund, Russian National Reinsurance Company.

Sanctions against individuals in the EU include an asset freeze and a travel ban to the EU.

The EU also added seven Iranian companies to the list of sanctions, accusing them of supplying dual-use goods. These organizations allegedly “produce military drones … used by the Russian military, including against civilian infrastructure.” The listings include companies like Nail Polish Parvaz Mado Nafar, Paravar Pars, Qods Aviation Industries, and Shahed Aviation Industries.

Other precautions

The EU’s new sanctions package against the Russian Federation also includes prohibiting Russian citizens and legal entities from booking gas storage facilities (excluding LNG) on Union territory. The European Council declared that such a measure is necessary “to protect the security of gas supplies to the EU and to prevent Russia’s use of gas supply as a weapon and risks of market manipulation”.

The new sanctions include measures to facilitate the withdrawal of investments from Russia by EU operators, and citizens of the Russian Federation are prohibited from holding senior positions in strategic enterprises in the states of the Union, because “Russia’s influence in these bodies may threaten their normal functioning and, consequently, for European citizens.” constitutes a danger to the provision of essential services”.

The EU has also required airlines to inform authorities in advance of any planned private flights between the EU and Russia, including via third countries.

The Russian Federation has repeatedly stated that the country will cope with the pressure of sanctions that the West began to impose on Russia a few years ago and continues to increase. Moscow noted that the West did not have the courage to accept the failure of sanctions against the Russian Federation. In the Western countries themselves, the opinion that the anti-Russian sanctions are ineffective has repeatedly been heard.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously stated that the policy of containing and weakening Russia is a long-term strategy of the West and that the sanctions deal a serious blow to the entire global economy. According to him, the main purpose of the West is to make the lives of millions of people worse.

European Union's anti-Russia sanctions: analysis of all packages
16 February 12:32infographics

European Union’s anti-Russia sanctions: analysis of all packages


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Source: Ria

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