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European Council calls for strengthening sanctions against RF: What is proposed

European Council calls for strengthening sanctions against RF: What is proposed Photo: European Council calls for strengthening sanctions against RF (Getty Images)

The European Council has called for an escalation of sanctions against the Russian Federation for its invasion of Ukraine. Specifically, it proposes developing a new set of measures to prevent the aggressor from circumventing sanctions through third countries, according to the Twitter (X) page of the spokesperson for the President of the European Council, Ecaterina Casinge.

In the final statement by the European Council regarding Ukraine, it is noted that the new package of restrictions calls for further steps aimed at weakening Russia's ability to continue its aggressive war, particularly by strengthening sanctions.

"Full and effective implementation of sanctions is essential. The European Council requests that the Council and the Commission improve exchange of information, strengthen implementation, enhance the EU and Member States’ action with third countries, and close all loopholes both inside and outside the Union," the document states.

By loopholes, measures to prevent the circumvention of sanctions through third countries and ensure their compliance, particularly regarding the subsidiaries of EU companies abroad, are meant.

The statement also specifies that Russia's access to sensitive goods and technologies essential for conducting military operations should be maximally restricted, including by targeting entities in third countries that enable such circumvention.

Additionally, the European Council calls on the High Representative and the European Commission to prepare further sanctions against Belarus, North Korea, and Iran.

On March 21-22, a summit of EU leaders is taking place in Brussels. During the meeting, the extension of support to Ukraine, security and defense issues, including the situation in the Middle East, EU enlargement, international relations, migration, and agriculture, are being discussed.

EU sanctions against Russia

Since the onset of the full-scale invasion, the European Union has consistently imposed sanctions against Russia for its aggressive war against Ukraine. Restrictions are imposed on Russian officials, oligarchs, economic sectors, companies, and the aggressor's defense enterprises.

On February 23, 2024, the EU adopted the 13th package of sanctions against Russia. The European Council decided to impose restrictive measures on an additional 106 individuals and 88 legal entities.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also called for strengthening sanctions against Russia. According to him, the aeroballistic missiles Kinzhal, with which Russia is shelling Ukraine, contain dozens of foreign components.

Recently, agricultural ministers from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, and Czechia proposed to the European Union to ban the import of grain from Russia and Belarus.