EU Countries Expected to Approve New Sanctions Package Against Russia

Written by Henrik Rothen

Feb.18 - 2024 5:44 PM CET

EU Countries Expected to Approve New Sanctions Package Against Russia.

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The Ukrainian President's Office anticipates the European Union's approval of the 13th set of sanctions against Russia next week, presidential advisor Vladyslav Vlasiuk shared on national television on February 17. The discussion still includes Chinese companies that have facilitated the Wagner PMC with satellite photos, with Hungary and a few other countries showing caution about adding them to the sanctions list. This is reported by New Voice of Ukraine.

However, Vlasiuk believes that this debate does not reflect fundamental disagreements. "I think this package will be adopted soon," he stated.

On February 15, Hungary blocked the EU's 13th sanctions package against Russia, which included measures against China. This move marked a significant development in EU's sanctions policy, reflecting the complexity of international relations and the geopolitical weight of sanctions.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen previously announced that the EU would implement the 13th package of sanctions against Russia on the "symbolic" date of February 24 - the two-year anniversary of Russia's full-scale military aggression against Ukraine. These "mini-sanctions" do not contain major elements such as new EU embargoes on Russian metals, liquefied natural gas, or nuclear companies, as they need to be agreed upon quickly after the 12th round of Russia sanctions on December 19 and in time for the anniversary.

According to Bloomberg, the EU will sanction more than 60 individuals and some 55 companies, including shipping firms involved in transporting North Korean ammunition to Russia. RFE/RL journalist Rikard Jozwiak noted that the upcoming EU sanctions package might be the weakest so far.

Internationally, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed concerns about China's support for Russia's actions in Ukraine, including backing the Russian military-industrial base, during a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Munich Security Conference. Ukraine has identified 48 companies, including 14 from China, as "international sponsors of war," whose business activities indirectly contribute to the Russian war effort.

Further investigations revealed that Russian companies have received tens of thousands of military items from China since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. These deliveries include equipment produced by companies manufacturing missile systems, armored vehicles, and strategic bombers, highlighting the complexity of international supply chains and the indirect support enabling Russia's military endeavors.