The European Union (EU) is preparing to announce its 12th package of Ukraine-related sanctions on Russia in the coming week, according to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. In a speech to members of the Ukrainian parliament, von der Leyen revealed that the new sanctions will include additional import and export bans, as well as measures to tighten the price cap on Russian oil. The EU is also planning to introduce tougher measures on third-country companies that attempt to circumvent existing sanctions. Additionally, the package will include personal sanctions against 100 Russian individuals.
Von der Leyen emphasized the need to apply maximum pressure against Russia until the end of the aggression and until Ukraine has re-established peace. She criticized the belief that trading with Russia and integrating it into Europe’s security order could be successful, stating that such efforts have not worked due to Russia’s delusional dreams of empire.
While media reports had suggested that the new sanctions package may target the Russian nuclear and diamond industries, as well as its liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, von der Leyen did not mention these measures in her address. However, she did not provide further details on the specific actions against third-country companies or the individuals who will be sanctioned.
Russia has condemned the sanctions, claiming that they are illegal and pose a greater threat to the countries that impose them than to Russia itself. Moscow has warned about the potential harm to the European economy caused by the sanctions.
Notably, there is a growing rift among EU member states regarding the imposition of additional restrictions. Hungary, for example, announced last month that it would veto any measures against the Russian nuclear sector. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto argued that sanctions are ineffective and cause more harm to the European economy than to Russia. He questioned the point of continuing with sanctions if they harm those who impose them more than the targeted country.
The disagreement among member states further complicates the process of reaching a consensus on new sanctions. Many countries oppose certain targeted measures against Russia and argue that the current sanctions are not yielding the desired results.
It remains to be seen what specific actions the EU will take in its 12th package of sanctions against Russia. The bloc is facing challenges in maintaining unity among its member states and determining the most effective course of action against Russia’s actions in Ukraine. As tensions between the EU and Russia continue to simmer, the impact of these sanctions on both parties and the wider international community remains uncertain.