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12 Dec, 2023 10:00

EU states divided on Russian oil tanker ban – Reuters

Brussels has reportedly softened restrictions amid concerns raised by Mediterranean members
EU states divided on Russian oil tanker ban – Reuters

EU states remain divided about the possibility of selling oil tankers to Russia, Reuters reported on Monday. The bloc's diplomats are seeking to compromise on a long-debated 12th package of sanctions on Moscow.

The European Commission had previously proposed prohibiting the sale of old tankers to Russian entities and barring EU firms from using them to curb any attempts to get around the G7 oil price cap.

The relevant clause has been dropped, an unnamed source told the news agency, adding that Mediterranean states, home to strong shipping companies and services, raised concerns that the measure could put them at a competitive disadvantage. According to the latest draft, shipping companies need only to “report” such sales.

The 12th package of EU sanctions against Russia is expected to prohibit the sale of certain chemicals, lithium batteries, thermostats, and motors for drones in addition to machine tools and machinery parts that can be used to produce weapons – so-called “dual use” items.

The new penalties also include a complete ban on selling Russian diamonds and jewelry starting January 1, 2024. Up to 120 legal entities and individuals may become subject to restrictions.

Member states are also still reportedly negotiating transition times for import bans on some metal products, such as steel slabs and iron.

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