Lithuania has proposed the inclusion of buttons, nails, and sewing appliances in the next round of sanctions on Russia, aimed at degrading Russian industrial capacities, according to EUobserver. The list of prohibited items also includes non-electric radiators for central heating and spare parts for them. The European Union has been working on crafting its next set of sanctions related to Ukraine for several weeks, with a focus on further hindering Russia’s ability to circumvent previously imposed restrictions, as well as considering new large-scale measures.
Some member states have called for a ban on new deals with Rosatom, the Russian nuclear giant, and the halting of purchases of Russian uranium, liquified natural gas (LNG), and steel. Estonia has gone a step further, demanding a full trade embargo on Russia in an effort to prevent sanctions evasion. Other proposals on the table include blocking IT services for Russian firms and stopping exports of laser technology.
The Russian diamond industry is also being targeted. The G7, in collaboration with Belgium, which hosts the world’s biggest diamond-trading hub in Antwerp, has been working on traceability protocols that would identify gems of Russian origin on retail markets. An unnamed EU diplomat stated that the system is nearly ready, and Western states are preparing to impose a ban on Russian diamonds in the coming days.
Furthermore, the EU Council has increased efforts to explore the potential use of frozen Russian assets to support Ukraine. Belgium recently announced that it would send tax revenue generated from Russian money kept in its Euroclear clearing house to Kiev, and proposed that other EU countries follow suit.
The European Commission is set to begin discussions on new sanctions with individual EU members in closed-door meetings this weekend or early next week, as reported by EUObserver. However, analysts expect the process to take weeks to finalize due to the number of proposals and the requirement for all member states to agree on the measures to be included. Some countries, such as Hungary, have opposed sanctioning the Russian nuclear industry due to existing contracts with Rosatom for the construction of new reactors at the Paks-2 nuclear power plant.
Since the start of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, the EU has implemented 11 sets of sanctions on Russia, targeting various sectors of the economy, financial institutions, trade, and individuals and businesses. The Kremlin has repeatedly denounced these sanctions as illegal and warned of their potential harm to global economic and trade relations.
The situation is still developing, and the final decisions on the proposed sanctions will depend on the consensus among EU member states. These measures are part of the ongoing efforts by the EU to respond to the crisis in Ukraine and deter Russian aggression. For more news on economy and finance, visit RT’s business section.