EU Adopts 12th Package of Sanctions Against Russia

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.18 - 2023 8:14 PM CET

EU Adopts 12th Package of Sanctions Against Russia.

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The European Union has announced the adoption of its 12th package of sanctions against Russia, in response to the ongoing illegal war against Ukraine. This latest set of sanctions, welcomed by the Commission, aims to further restrict Russia's access to important revenue streams and weaken its military capabilities.

Key Elements of the Sanctions
  1. Additional Listings: The package includes over 140 additional individuals and entities subject to asset freezes. These include actors in the Russian military and defense sectors, such as military industry companies and Private Military Companies. It also targets individuals involved in the IT sector and other significant economic actors. Those responsible for the recent illegal so-called “elections” in occupied Ukrainian territories, the forced “re-education” of Ukrainian children, and actors spreading disinformation in support of Russia's war are also included.

  2. Trade Measures:

    • Import Ban on Russian Diamonds: This ban targets non-industrial diamonds mined, processed, or produced in Russia. It's part of a coordinated G7 effort, aiming to cut off an estimated €4 billion annual revenue stream for Russia. The ban will be implemented in stages, with a complete ban on lab-grown diamonds, jewelry, and watches containing diamonds by September 2024.

    • Restrictions on Metals: New measures restrict imports from Russia of certain metal goods, including raw materials for steel production and processed aluminum products.

    • Export Restrictions: Additional export restrictions are placed on dual-use and advanced technological and industrial goods, totaling €2.3 billion per year. This includes chemicals, machinery parts, and items that could enhance Russia's military capabilities.

  3. Stricter Asset Freeze Obligations: The package introduces a new listing criterion to target individuals benefiting from the forced transfer of ownership or control over Russian subsidiaries of EU companies. It also includes measures to keep deceased persons on the asset freeze list and mandates Member States to proactively trace assets of listed persons.

  4. Energy Measures:

    • Oil Price Cap: The EU has tightened the G7+ oil price cap, introducing new measures to monitor the sale of tankers to third countries and detailed attestation requirements. This aims to address the use of 'shadow fleets' by Russia to circumvent the price cap.

    • Import Ban on LPG: A new ban on liquified petroleum gas imports from Russia, impacting over €1 billion in annual imports, with a 12-month grandfathering period for existing contracts.

  5. Stronger Anti-Circumvention Measures: These include broadening the scope of the transit prohibition through Russia and obligations for operators to prevent the re-export of sensitive goods to Russia.

  6. Additional Measures: The package allows for specific derogations, such as compensations for damages by a newly listed insurance company and the sale of EU companies owned by certain listed individuals or entities.

Background and Impact

The EU continues to stand firmly with Ukraine, supporting its economy, society, armed forces, and future reconstruction. These sanctions are central to the EU's response to Russia's military aggression, aiming to degrade Russia's military and technological capabilities, cut off its access to global markets, and impose economic costs.

The sanctions are designed to contribute to a just and lasting peace, eroding Russia's industrial and tech base over time. The EU also ensures that these sanctions do not impact energy and agrifood exports from Russia to third countries.

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