The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union (EU), has distributed a plan on the 11th package of sanctions against Russia for the war in Ukraine to the bloc’s member states, which focuses on preventing the measures from being circumvented, said a spokesperson for the institution on Monday. “This package will focus on the implementation of sanctions, their effectiveness, and how we prevent the measures from being circumvented,” said European Commission spokesperson Eric Mamer. On Wednesday, representatives from the 27 member countries of the bloc in Brussels will meet to begin discussions on the package of measures.
Since the conflict began in February 2022, the EU has already adopted sanctions, which hit everything from hydrocarbon production to parts of the Russian banking system, as well as the sale of civilian-use devices that can be used for military purposes. The 10th package of sanctions was announced in conjunction with the first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine in February of this year, with restrictions on dozens of electronic components that can be used in weapons systems, drones, and helicopters. Additionally, that tenth package also hit Iranian manufacturers, who have supplied unmanned aircraft to Russia that have been used in attacks on Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure.
However, the EU has already acknowledged that the sanctions it has adopted contain loopholes that Russia has exploited to evade the measures. At the same time, diplomatic sources suggest that the bloc has reached the limit of sanctions it can approve unanimously. For example, several countries are demanding a ban on the import of diamonds from Russia, although other members are strongly opposed to such a measure.
Therefore, the new package would focus exclusively on closing those loopholes used to evade the restrictive measures. The EU has also imposed sanctions on 1,473 Russian citizens and 205 entities. However, in March, the EU General Court (TGUE) annulled the inclusion on the sanctions list of Violetta Prigozhina, mother of Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Russian Wagner armed group, which the EU considers a private army formed by mercenaries.
Prigozhina, 83, had filed an appeal with the TGUE, claiming that her inclusion among those sanctioned was justified because she had “supported actions and policies that undermine the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence of Ukraine.”
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