Sunday, August 14

Brussels proposes to ban the import of Russian gold in a new package of sanctions on Putin

The package presented this Friday by the European Commission proposes a new ban on the import of Russian gold, while seeking to strengthen export controls on advanced technology and dual-use (civilian and military).

In doing so, it will “reinforce the alignment of EU sanctions with those of G7 partners”, says Brussels: “It will also strengthen information requirements to tighten asset freezes”

The package also reiterates that the EU sanctions “do not in any way target trade in agricultural products between third countries and Russia.”

In addition, “it is proposed to extend the current EU sanctions for six months, until the next review at the end of January 2023.”

The package now has to be discussed by the Member States in the Council with a view to its adoption.

The package adopted this Friday as a joint proposal between the High Representative, Josep Borrell, and the European Commission seeks to “strengthen the effectiveness of the six far-reaching and unprecedented EU sanctions packages against Russia.”

“This Friday’s ‘maintenance and adaptation’ package”, says the European Commission, “clarifies a number of provisions to strengthen legal certainty for operators and enforcement by Member States. It also further aligns EU sanctions with those of our allies and partners, in particular in the G7. Importantly, the package reiterates the European Commission’s resolute stance to protect food security around the world.”

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, says: “Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine continues. Therefore, today we propose to tighten our forceful EU sanctions against the Kremlin, apply them more effectively and extend them until January 2023. Moscow must continue to pay a heavy price for its aggression.”

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said: “The EU sanctions are tough and forceful. We continue to target people close to Putin and the Kremlin. Today’s package reflects our coordinated approach with international partners, including the G7. In addition to these measures, I will also submit proposals to the Council for the listing of more individuals and entities, with their assets frozen and their ability to travel restricted.”

According to diplomatic sources, what the Commission presented this Friday is “a proposal for maintenance, cleaning up errors, filling in gaps, reinforcing coordination with the G7, without striking measures or a gas embargo, far from it. It is to put order in what does not work well in the implementation. That it has less impact than gas does not mean that it should not be done. It is not an essential impact for its economy, but it is another step”.