Friday, September 22

End to exports of luxury goods and encirclement of Putin’s elites: the EU agrees to more sanctions against Russia

More penalties. The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced this Friday a fourth package of measures against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine, at the end of the summit held in Versailles.

“Russia’s ruthless invasion of Ukraine continues. Civilians are relentlessly targeted, including in schools, apartment buildings and hospitals,” von der Leyen said in a statement: “Despite repeated offers from the Ukrainian side, Russia will not has shown no willingness to seriously engage in negotiations for a diplomatic solution. Instead, all we hear is new lies and false accusations and humanitarian corridors are still not opened or are bombed by Russian forces soon after they are announced.”

Thus, the EU has agreed with its G7 partners – the US, Canada, Japan and the UK – to “increase economic pressure against the Kremlin”.

The sanctions applied so far, according to the Community Executive, “have hit the Russian economy very hard.” For example: “The ruble has collapsed. Many key Russian banks are cut off from the international banking system. Companies are leaving the country, one after another, not wanting their brands to be associated with a murderous regime.”

“Tomorrow [por este sábado]”, Von der Leyen has said, “we will adopt a fourth package of measures to further isolate Russia and drain the resources it uses to finance this barbaric war”.

And what are the measures? “First,” says von der Leyen, “we will deny Russia most-favoured-nation status in our markets. This will revoke important benefits Russia enjoys as a WTO member. We will also work to suspend Russia’s participation rights in major multilateral financial institutions, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. We will ensure that Russia cannot obtain financing, loans or any other benefit from these institutions. Because Russia cannot grossly violate international law and at the same time expect benefit from the privileges of being part of the international economic order”.

“Secondly,” says von der Leyen, “we will continue to put pressure on Russian elites close to Putin, as well as their families and enablers. This is why the G7 finance, justice and interior ministers will meet next week.” next week to coordinate the task force we set up to attack Putin’s allies.

Third, the EU wants to ensure that the “Russian state and its elites cannot use crypto assets to circumvent sanctions.” Fourth, “the export of any luxury items from the EU to Russia will be banned, as a direct blow to the Russian elite. Those who support Putin’s war machine should no longer be able to enjoy their lavish lifestyle while bombs fall on innocent people in Ukraine”.

In addition, the EU will ban “the import of key products in the Russian Federation’s iron and steel sector. This will hit a core sector of Russia’s system, deprive it of billions in export earnings and ensure that our citizens are not financing Putin’s war”.

In addition, Brussels will propose “a major ban on new European investments in Russia’s energy sector. Because we should not be feeding the energy dependency that we want to leave behind. This ban will cover all investments, technology transfers, financial services, etc., for the exploration and production of energy and therefore will have a great impact on Putin”.