Penalty Package Against Welders And IT Professionals

The European Union is considering adopting a new sanctions package against Russia that will cost bilateral trade about EUR 5.3 bn, according to Bloomberg. This will be the 12th restrictions package against Russia after the commencement of the special operation in Ukraine. It will mainly be aimed at depriving Russia of the ability to circumvent the sanctions that have already been imposed, including the oil price ceiling.

The new sanctions are expected to deal a blow to Russia’s sources of revenues and industry. Most of the Russian economy has already been sanctioned. European politicians are currently busy “plugging the holes”, scouring the floor, imposing targeted measures and tightening existing laws.

According to the agency’s experts, the new set of proposed measures includes restrictions targeting the export of welding equipment, chemicals and other technology used for military purposes. Licensing bans on software and restrictions on the import of a small number of processed metals, construction products, transport goods and diamonds are also on the table.

EU leaders are reassuring Vladimir Zelensky that the bloc will continue to support Kyiv, despite the conflict blazing in the Middle East. The EU has recently been more robust on sanctions since there is a risk that it will not be able to fulfill its promise to provide Kyiv with a million sets of artillery ammunition by March next year.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Union Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell address the media on the Ukraine crisis, in Brussels, Belgium

The European Commission, the bloc’s executive body, held consultations with all member countries in October. Although the proposals may still change before they are officially unveiled next week, they will require an affirmative vote by all 27 EU countries to be approved. According to Politico citing European diplomats, discussions may last as late as until the end of the year.

The package is aimed at depriving Russia of the ability to bypass existing bans through third countries from which it can source components, technology and electronics that are used, among other things, to create weapons. The EU also seeks to include new goods and companies pertaining to third countries to the sanctions if such countries cannot prevent such cooperation with Russia themselves.

The European Union is considering the possibility of persuading businesses to add clauses to their contracts executed with firms from third countries to prohibit the export of certain goods to Russia. A ban on the repatriation of Russian assets and restrictions on the participation of Russian citizens in important sectors of the European economy are also on the table.

For instance, EUobserver previously wrote that Lithuania had proposed to limit the supply of nails, buttons, sewing and knitting needles to Russia and block the import of non-electrically heated centralized heat supply radiators as part of the 12th package of sanctions since this would allegedly also affect Russian industry.

The G7 introduced a ceiling of $60 on the price of Russian oil. However, large volumes of oil produced in Russia are still sold at higher prices. The EU and its allies are therefore consulting on how to ensure compliance with that restriction. In particular, they plan to take steps against the shadow fleet that secretly transports Russian oil.  

After the introduction of the 11th package of EU sanctions against Russia in June this year, the European Union’s personal restrictions now affect almost 1.8 thousand individuals and organizations. This time, the EU is likely to additionally blacklist more than 100 individuals and about 40 legal entities, according to Bloomberg.

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