The European Union is nearing the final stages of developing its 12th set of sanctions against Russia in response to the ongoing Ukraine conflict. According to Bloomberg, the new package of sanctions is expected to focus on preventing Russia from evading existing restrictions, particularly by importing sanctioned goods through intermediary countries like Türkiye and the UAE.
This upcoming round of sanctions is also anticipated to align with the G7’s recent decision to ban the purchase of Russian diamonds. It is expected that the EU will include direct and indirect prohibitions on acquiring Russian diamonds, set to take effect on January 1.
In addition to these measures, the EU is considering proposals for the utilization of profits generated by frozen assets belonging to the Central Bank of Russia. Discussions regarding the legality of seizing these assets to support Ukraine have been ongoing for several months, and it appears that a resolution may be on the horizon.
The European Commission is also expected to propose a windfall tax on earnings generated by Russian central bank assets within EU clearing houses. This tax would further restrict Russia’s ability to benefit from its financial holdings.
Certain member states, including Poland and the Baltic nations, have suggested imposing additional restrictions on Russia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports and IT services. However, specific details regarding these proposals have not been disclosed.
One contentious issue in the discussions has been the potential targeting of Russia’s nuclear industry. While some member states have advocated for sanctions on this sector, past efforts have been waived due to the dependence of many countries, including EU members, on Russian atomic fuels.
The announcement of this new sanctions package is expected in either the first half of October or during an EU-US summit scheduled for the following month.
Since the beginning of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in February of last year, the EU has implemented 11 sets of sanctions against Russia, targeting various sectors of the Russian economy and its financial institutions. However, there have been concerns among some member states that there is not much left to sanction, prompting calls for more effective enforcement of existing restrictions.
As the situation continues to unfold, it is evident that the EU remains committed to maintaining pressure on Russia in response to its actions in Ukraine. These forthcoming sanctions are intended to further hinder Russia’s ability to evade previous restrictions and send a clear message of solidarity with Ukraine.
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