On the anniversary of the war – 13th EU sanctions package: Putin’s aides in the crosshairs

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The EU has imposed new sanctions on Russia to mark the second anniversary of the war in Ukraine. Representatives of the 27 member states agreed in Brussels on Wednesday to significantly expand the list of people and entities whose EU funds should be frozen.

The thirteenth package is one of the “most comprehensive” EU packages to date, the Belgian presidency said in Brussels on Wednesday after the fundamental agreement.

In addition, other companies that contribute to Russia’s military and technological strengthening or to the development of its defense and security sector should also be punished. Goods and technologies that could be used for military purposes may no longer be sold to them from the EU.

Russian aid workers were also targeted
Recently, the EU has also used this tool to target companies based in Hong Kong, Uzbekistan, Iran and the United Arab Emirates that are allegedly involved in circumventing EU punitive measures.

The new measures should also include companies based in Turkey, Serbia, India and China. There are also further export restrictions on goods that could be used by Russia to produce drones.

No new economic sanctions
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she welcomed the agreement on what is now the 13th sanctions package against Russia. The aim is to further degrade President Vladimir Putin’s war machine. Pressure on the Kremlin is being kept up with punitive measures against approximately 2,000 people and organizations. In addition, Russian access to drones is further limited.

The agreement between the representatives of the Member States must now be formalized through a written procedure, as announced by the Belgian Presidency of the EU Council. The list of additional people and businesses affected will then be published in the EU’s Official Journal on Saturday, on the anniversary of the start of the war. The sanctions package is seen as a symbol of the anniversary because it does not contain new, far-reaching economic sanctions.

The block list will be significantly expanded
According to information from the German Press Agency, the new measures will affect a total of around 200 people, companies and organizations. Listed persons are not only affected by the asset freeze. Business is no longer allowed to be done with them and they are no longer allowed to enter the EU. This should be done before the birthday next Saturday.

The latest EU sanctions package against Russia to date included a ban on the import of diamonds and diamond jewelry from Russia into the European Union. There has long been a far-reaching import ban on crude oil, coal, steel, gold and luxury goods, as well as punitive measures against banks and financial institutions.

Assets will be forwarded to Kiev
EU officials in Brussels also point out that only recently was it decided to seize the proceeds from the Russian Central Bank’s safekeeping of frozen funds for Ukraine. The agreed procedure provides, as a first step, to ensure that extraordinary income from the custody of assets of the Central Bank of Russia is kept separately.

In a second step, the intention is to forward part of the funds to Ukraine. However, further legal texts need to be developed for this.

Estimates suggest that annual revenues could reach billions as, according to the Commission, more than €210 billion of the Russian central bank has been frozen in the EU and income from capital custody is constantly increasing.

Source: Krone

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