Today, the EU adopted the sixth package of sanctions in light of Russia’s continuing aggression against Ukraine and Belarus’ support to it, as well as the reported atrocities committed by Russian armed forces in Ukraine.
The EU has decided to prohibit the purchase, import or transfer of crude oil and certain petroleum products from Russia into the EU. The phasing out of Russian oil will take from six months for crude oil, to eight months for other refined petroleum products.
A temporary exception is foreseen for imports of crude oil by pipeline into those EU member states that, due to their geographic situation, suffer from a specific dependence on Russian supplies and have no viable alternative options. Moreover, Bulgaria and Croatia will also benefit from temporary derogations concerning the import of Russian seaborne crude oil and vacuum gas oil respectively.
The EU is also de-swifting three additional Russian credit institutions (Russia’s largest bank Sberbank, Credit Bank of Moscow, and Russian Agricultural Bank) and the Belarusian Bank For Development And Reconstruction.
The EU is suspending the broadcasting activities in the EU of three more Russian state-owned outlets: Rossiya RTR/RTR Planeta, Rossiya 24 / Russia 24 and TV Centre International that have promoted disinformation and propaganda about the invasion of Ukraine, with the aim to destabilise Russia’s neighbouring countries and the EU and its member states.
Additionally, the EU is expanding the list of persons and entities concerned by export restrictions regarding dual-use goods and technology, including both Russian and Belarusian entities. Moreover, the EU will expand the list of goods and technology which may contribute to the technological enhancement of Russia’s defence and security sector. This will include 80 chemicals which can be used to produce chemical weapons.
The EU will prohibit the provision of accounting, public relations and consultancy services, as well as cloud services to Russia.
The EU also decided to sanction additional 65 individuals and 18 entities: those responsible for the atrocities committed by Russian troops in Bucha and Mariupol, personalities supporting the war, leading business persons and family members of listed oligarchs and Kremlin officials, as well as companies in the defence and a financial organisation.
The 65 listed individuals include the military staff that led the actions of those units of the Russian army that killed, raped, and tortured civilians in Ukraine in Bucha, including Colonel Azatbek Omurbekov, who was nicknamed the ’Butcher of Bucha’. The list also includes those responsible for the inhuman siege of the city of Mariupol, including Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, nicknamed the ‘Butcher of Mariupol’, and those who participated in the creation of the so-called Committee of Salvation for Peace and Order in March 2022 – an organ for collaboration with the Russian occupation in Kherson Oblast. Lastly, the EU is imposing sanctions on politicians, propagandists, leading businesspersons and family members of already sanctioned individuals. The former gymnast and State Duma member Alina Kabaeva is also included in the list as a close associate of President Vladimir Putin.
The 18 sanctioned entities include a variety of companies supporting, directly or indirectly, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Russian Federation, including Russia’s largest securities depository, the National Settlement Depository.
Altogether, EU restrictive measures now apply to a total of 1,158 individuals and 98 entities. Those designated are subject to an asset freeze, and EU citizens and companies are forbidden from making funds available to them. Natural persons are additionally subject to a travel ban, which prevents them from entering or transiting through EU territories.
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