EU proposes new ‘biting’ sanctions against Russia
The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed fresh anti-Russia sanctions on Wednesday. These included tighter trade restrictions, more individual blacklistings and an oil price cap for third countries.
“We are proposing a new package of biting sanctions against Russia,” von der Leyen was quoted by Reuters as having said at a press briefing. She explained that the proposed package, the eighth of its kind, will further restrict trade to “isolate and hit Russia’s economy even more.”
According to the EU chief, the new imports ban would cost Russia €7 billion ($6.7 billion) in lost revenues. The bloc would also expand the list of prohibited exports “to deprive the Kremlin’s war machine of key technologies.” The package reportedly includes additional export bans on key technologies used for the military, such as aviation items, electronic components and specific chemical substances.
Under the proposal, European companies would be barred from providing more services to Russia and European citizens would not be allowed to sit on boards of Russian state companies.
The new sanctions will have to be approved unanimously by the EU’s 27 member states before they can be imposed. However, the bloc has been split on the oil price cap issue, with strong opposition from some EU countries, including those whose powerful shipping industries make a lot of money transporting Russian oil.
The EU has already adopted seven packages of sanctions against Russia, targeting the country’s financial sector, individuals and entities, as well as Russian coal and gold, among other things. Meanwhile, last week the Russian Economy Ministry reported that, despite the Western sanctions’ regime, the decline in Russia’s GDP is expected to be much lower than previously thought. In an improved outlook, the ministry now sees the economy contracting by 2.9% this year versus the 4.2% projected earlier in August. The country’s economy is expected to expand by 2.6% in 2024-2025, due to robust domestic consumer and investment demand.
Top government officials had previously said the economy was holding up better than expected in the face of Western sanctions.
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