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EU to close loopholes for Russia's military supplies through China, India

EU to close loopholes for Russia's military supplies through China, India EU to close loopholes for Russia's military supplies through China, India (Getty Images)

EU intends to impose sanctions against two dozen foreign companies as part of measures aimed at closing loopholes that allow Russia to obtain military technologies through third countries, according to The Guardian.

Three companies in mainland China, as well as four in Hong Kong and one in India, are included in a 91-page document listing companies and individuals that EU member states aim to add to the sanctions list ahead of the second anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Representatives of the EU, UK, and U.S. are set to meet in Brussels today. A source of the media reports that additional measures are needed to ensure that Moscow cannot bypass existing restrictions.

"“Russia is straining every sinew to get around our sanctions but we need to do more. We need to shut down loopholes, target circumvention routes, drive down revenues further," the source said.

The EU is particularly concerned that technologies are being sold outside the bloc and then ending up in Russia through third countries.

Chinese companies will be included in the blacklist for the first time

As part of this initiative, EU diplomats have proposed adding about 20 companies, including three in mainland China, one in Türkiye, and one in India, to the export blacklist of those supporting the Russian army.

Two Russian shipping companies accused of transporting weapons from North Korea to a port on the Far East, east of Vladivostok, will be added to the blacklist as part of the 13th package of sanctions being discussed this week in Brussels.

This means that firms from the bloc's 27 countries will be banned from doing business with these companies as Brussels intensifies efforts to prevent sanctions evasion.

The EU has already imposed similar bans on exports to more than 600 firms, including three from Hong Kong, as well as firms in countries such as Armenia, the United Arab Emirates, and Uzbekistan.

Last year, Brussels proposed including five Chinese firms on the list, but they were excluded due to Beijing's resistance and the unwillingness of some EU capitals. Sources report that the involved companies were thoroughly investigated, and this time a connection to China was established.

Western allies estimate that sanctions have already deprived Russia of $400 billion in revenue. However, as Vladimir Putin significantly increases military supplies and the EU lags behind, they need sanctions to be more actively enforced.

It is expected that the newly planned sanctions will also result in asset freezes and visa bans to the EU much more extensive than those for Russian officials.

13th package of sanctions

European Union began discussing a new package of sanctions, which it intends to approve by February 24, 2024.

According to Reuters, the sanctions package will not include new restrictions on the import of Russian goods.