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EU to tighten sanctions on Belarus to stop imports of luxury cars to Russia

EU to tighten sanctions on Belarus to stop imports of luxury cars to Russia EU to tighten sanctions against Belarus to limit loopholes for Russia (flick com libereurope)
Author: Maria Kholina

The European Union is preparing to tighten sanctions against Belarus. The new sanctions will target closing the loopholes that Russia uses to circumvent restrictions, according to the Financial Times.

The EU plans to expand sanctions against the Belarusian regime of Alexander Lukashenko, as Russia uses Belarus to bypass sanctions. With the help of Minsk, Moscow continues to import luxury cars and high-end goods.

According to a draft seen by the Financial Times, the new restrictions being discussed by EU member states aim to "minimize the risk of circumvention."

The new sanctions will ban the export to and through Belarus of technologies and goods that can be used for military purposes, as well as liquefied natural gas. The EU will also stop importing diamonds from Belarus.

If the new sanctions are adopted, their main focus will be on restricting the flow of luxury car sales to Belarus, which are then sent to Russia.

The monthly flow of vehicles and parts to Belarus from EU countries increased from $50 million in January 2022 to $268 million in January 2024. The largest growth in exports was recorded in the most expensive categories of cars, i.e., those that fell under the EU sanctions against Russia.

Customs officials from EU countries believe that Belarusian companies have become a key component of Russian smuggling networks. According to the Financial Times, despite sanctions, luxury cars like Rolls-Royce and Maybach are still being imported into Russia, arriving within a few months after being produced.

Sanctions against Russia

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the European Union has already imposed 13 packages of sanctions against Russia for its war of aggression against Ukraine. The EU has also imposed sanctions against Belarus.

Currently, the EU is discussing the 14th package of sanctions against Russia. Media reports indicated that the sanctions list would include 21 Russian companies and 19 individuals.

Additionally, as reported by journalists, EU country ambassadors have agreed on new sanctions against Russia over the death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.