EU Russia sanctions

EU backs new sanctions package against Russia

The European Union introduced an eighth set of sanctions against Russia on Thursday (Oct. 6) in response to Moscow “illegally annexing Ukrainian territory based on sham ‘referenda,’ mobilizing additional troops, and issuing open nuclear threats.”

This package introduces new EU import bans worth €7 billion to curb Russia’s revenues, as well as export restrictions. “The sanctions also deprive the Russian army and its suppliers from further specific goods and equipment needed to wage its war on Ukrainian territory” the European Commission said on Thursday (Oct. 6).

The package also lays the basis for the required legal framework to implement the G7 agreement on the price cap on Russian oil, which is set to come into effect from December 5 for crude and February 5 for refined petroleum products.

The new package also adds to the individual sanctions list the people responsible for the mobilization of over 300,000 Russians and the recent organization of referendums in four Ukrainian regions, leading to Moscow last week declaring their “annexation,”  the EU’s executive arm said.

Since the beginning of Russia’s war on Ukraine in February, EU sanctions have targeted, among others, President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, banned Russian gold, oil, and coal imports, and exports of luxury and high-tech goods, as well as excluded Russian and Belarusian banks from the international payment system SWIFT.

The sanctions stop short of imposing measures sought by Poland and the Baltic states, including a complete ban on nuclear energy cooperation, diamond imports, and the blacklisting of Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

“The package could have been far stronger,” said Andrzej Sados, Poland’s ambassador to the EU. “But given that we require unanimity…it is important that we have this strong response to Russia’s latest aggressive steps.”

Since March 2014, the EU has progressively imposed restrictive measures on Russia.

With reporting by news agencies and Oilprice