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EU aims to ease re-export bans to Russia in new sanctions package, Reuters reports

EU aims to ease re-export bans to Russia in new sanctions package, Reuters reports Illustrative photo (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

Some European Union member states oppose a provision in the draft of the 12th package of sanctions against Russia regarding significant restrictions on the re-export of a range of goods to the aggressor country from Europe, reports Reuters.

According to six sources, these states believe the new proposal goes "too far" and "would backfire on EU global trade and ultimately, fail in its aims."

The countries aiming to soften the re-export restrictions are not disclosed.

Representatives of EU nations voiced concerns this week that Article 12A of the proposal termed the "No Russia clause," could "potentially create havoc for European companies globally," stated sources familiar with the discussions to journalists.

During the meeting, suggestions were put forward where EU exporters would be required to impose a ban on re-exporting all goods to Russia included in the Commission's list of customs codes, covering more daily use items than military-purpose goods.

On Tuesday, the draft version was amended to exclude the use of sanctioned goods for personal use from this latest package since it had become "a source of abuse at Russia-EU borders since previous packages came into force," as mentioned in the article.

Instances were cited at the meeting where customs officials seized items such as toothpaste at the border between the Russian Federation and the EU. Additionally, the prohibition on any transfers of funds by Russian legal or natural persons or citizens residing in Russia beyond the EU without EU permission was not supported, termed "pointlessly burdensome" during the meeting.

Moreover, Reuters reports that the proposed package's key elements, such as indirect bans on importing Russian diamonds and amendments to better implement price restrictions on oil from Russia set by the G7, were not extensively discussed at this meeting.

This new EU sanctions package, the 12th since Russia's wide-scale military aggression against Ukraine, is also aimed at closing additional loopholes in circumventing the existing restrictions.

EU's 12th package of sanctions against Russia

On November 15, the European Commission presented proposals to the EU Council regarding the 12th package of sanctions against Russia. It recommends implementing restrictive measures against over 120 individuals and entities for their role in undermining Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The EU also proposes new import and export bans, including those on Russian diamonds, and actions to strengthen oil prices and counteract the circumvention of EU sanctions.