War in Ukraine: European Commission proposes 5th package of sanctions
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU High Representative Josep Borrell today proposed a 5th package of sanctions against Russia for the approval of the European Council.
These sanctions aim to further cripple Putin’s war machinery, following the atrocities committed by the Russian armed forces in Bucha and other places under Russian occupation in Ukraine.
- An import ban on coal from Russia, worth €4 billion per year. This will cut another important revenue source for Russia.
- A full transaction ban on four key Russian banks, among them VTB, the second largest Russian bank. These four banks, now totally cut off from the markets, represent 23% of market share in the Russian banking sector. This will further weaken Russia’s financial system.
- A ban on Russian vessels and Russian-operated vessels from accessing EU ports. Certain exemptions will cover essentials, such as agricultural and food products, humanitarian aid as well as energy. Additionally, the Commission will propose a ban on Russian and Belarusian road transport operators. This ban will drastically limit the options for the Russian industry to obtain key goods.
- Further targeted export bans, worth €10 billion, in areas in which Russia is vulnerable. This includes, for example, quantum computers and advanced semiconductors, but also sensitive machinery and transportation equipment. With this, the EU will continue to degrade Russia’s technological base and industrial capacity.
- Specific new import bans, worth € 5.5 billion, to cut the money stream of Russia and its oligarchs, on products from wood to cement, from seafood to liquor. In doing this, the EU also closes loopholes between Russia and Belarus.
- A number of very targeted measures, such as a general EU ban on participation of Russian companies in public procurement in Member States, or an exclusion of all financial support, be it European or national, to Russian public bodies.
The European Commission also proposed further listings of individuals, adding, according to Borrell, “dozens of people from politics, the business sector and engaged in propaganda activities”.
According to Ursula von der Leyen, the Commission is also working on additional sanctions, including on oil imports, and reflecting on some of the ideas presented by Member States, such as taxes or specific payment channels such as an escrow account.