The European Council adopted today a ninth package of new measures intended to step up pressure on Russia and its government in view of the ongoing aggression. The full statement can be accessed here .
Centering on the operational impact the following are emphasized:
· Export controls and restrictions
Today’s decision imposes new export controls and restrictions on dual-use goods and technology as well as goods and technology that can contribute to the technological enhancement of Russia’s defence and security sector by significantly expanding the list of entities connected to Russia’s military and industrial complex by additional 168 entities targeted by sectoral measures. This will ensure that key chemicals, nerve agents, night-vision and radio-navigation equipment, electronics and IT components that could be used by the Russian war machine cannot be freely traded. To avoid circumvention, some Russian-controlled entities based in illegally annexed Crimea or Sevastopol are also included in the list.
Furthermore, the EU will expand the export ban on aviation and the space industry related goods and technology to include aircraft engines and their parts. This prohibition will apply to both manned and unmanned aircrafts, meaning that from now on there will be a ban on the direct exports of drone engines to Russia and any third country that could supply drones to Russia.
None of the measures adopted in view of Russia’s actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine target in any way the trade in agricultural and food products, including wheat and fertilisers, between third countries and Russia. However, in view of the Union’s determined stance to avoid and combat food insecurity around the world, and in order to avoid disruptions in the payment channels for agricultural products, it was decided to introduce a new derogation allowing to unfreeze assets of, and to make funds and economic resources available to, certain individuals who held a significant role in international trade in agricultural and food products, including wheat and fertilisers, prior to their listing.
· Banking sector
The EU will impose an asset freeze against two additional Russian banks and add the Russian Regional Development Bank to the list of Russian State-owned or controlled entities that are subject to a full transaction ban.
In order to address the Russian Federation’s systematic, international campaign of disinformation and information manipulation intended to destabilise its neighbouring countries, the EU and its member states, the Council initiated the process for suspending the broadcasting licences of four additional media outlets: NTV/NTV Mir, Rossiya 1, REN TV and Pervyi Kanal. These outlets are under the permanent direct or indirect control of the leadership of the Russian Federation and have been used by latter for its continuous and concerted disinformation and war propaganda actions, which legitimise Russia’s aggression and undermine support for Ukraine. In line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights, these measures will not prevent those media outlets and their staff from carrying out activities in the EU other than broadcasting, e.g. research and interviews.
· Consulting services
Today’s decisions introduce a ban on the provision of EU advertising, market research and public opinion polling services, as well as product testing and technical inspection services to the Russian Federation.
· Energy and mining sectors
The EU will expand the prohibition targeting new investments in the Russian energy sector by additionally prohibiting new investments in the Russian mining sector, with the exception of mining and quarrying activities involving certain critical raw materials.
As of today EU nationals will be forbidden from holding any posts on the governing bodies of all Russian State-owned or controlled legal persons, entities or bodies located in Russia.
· Individual listings
In addition to economic sanctions, the Council decided to adopt a comprehensive package of individual measures both in number and content with list a very significant number of additional individuals and entities.
In the face of Russia’s war of aggression, the EU stands resolutely with Ukraine and its people, and is unwavering in its support of Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.
The relevant legal acts will soon be published in the Official Journal of the EU.