Fifth round of sanctions against Moscow. The representatives of the Twenty-Seven decided Thursday, April 7 an embargo on Russian coal and the closure of European ports to Russian ships, announced the French presidency of the Council of the EU.
The packet “very substantial” sanctions also provides for the ban on exports to Russia, in particular of high-tech goods, up to 10 billion euros, and the freezing of the assets of several Russian banks. In addition, Russian and Belarusian road hauliers are now banned in the EU. The sanctions also target “oligarchs, Russian propaganda actors (…) and entities” linked to the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
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The list of Russian products banned from importing into the EU is also extended to certain “raw materials and critical materials” for an estimated value of 5.5 billion euros per year, in order to stop the financing of Moscow’s war effort. The EU is also strengthening the arms embargo which was decided in 2014 after the annexation of Crimea.
EU imports 45% of its coal from Russia
These new measures were proposed by the European Commission after the discovery of dozens of corpses of civilians in Boutcha, near kyiv, which sparked a global shock wave and accusations of “war crimes” against Moscow.
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This is the first time that the Europeans have hit the Russian energy sector, on which they are very dependent, particularly for gas. The EU imports 45% of its coal from Russia for a value of 4 billion euros per year. This embargo will come into force at the beginning of August, 120 days after the publication of the new package in the official journal of the EU expected this Friday.
At the same time, the EU has offered to increase funding to provide arms to Ukraine by 500 million euros, which would be increased to a total of 1.5 billion since the start of the Russian invasion. This sum is used to reimburse the supplies of armaments withdrawn by the Member States from their stocks.