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EU Tightens Sanctions on Russia: New Measures Target Military, Diamond Trade in Response to Ukraine

On December 19, the European Union escalated its economic response to Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine by implementing its 12th set of sanctions. This latest package significantly expands the EU's blacklist, adding 61 individuals and 86 entities, primarily targeting Moscow's military and defense sectors. Over 40 companies in the Kremlin's military-industrial complex and seven private Russian military companies are affected.

A notable aspect of these sanctions is the EU's alignment with the G7's ban on Russian diamonds, a major revenue source for President Vladimir Putin's regime, estimated at $4.3 billion annually. The package also includes prohibitions on imports of raw materials for steel production, processed aluminum products, and other metal goods, alongside restrictions on dual-use and advanced technological and industrial goods.

In an effort to further constrain Russia's economic capabilities, the EU introduced a ban on liquified petroleum gas and initiatives to monitor the sale of oil tankers to third countries. This move aims to limit Russia's use of a "shadow fleet" to bypass international oil price caps.

The sanctions extend to individuals in Russia's IT and economic sectors, including 14 members of the Russian Central Election Committee and 12 Belarusians implicated in providing military support to Russia. With these additions, the EU has blacklisted nearly 1,950 people and entities related to Russia's near two-year war in Ukraine. The sanctions include asset freezes, funding prohibitions, and travel bans within EU territories.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell emphasized the robustness of this package, reaffirming the EU's commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty. In contrast, Russia's embassy to the EU sharply criticized the sanctions, dismissing their effectiveness and maintaining its interest in peaceful relations with Europe, albeit under mutual respect.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the new sanctions, underscoring the importance of increasing pressure on Moscow and ensuring the enforcement of existing sanctions regimes. Zelensky stressed that neither the aggressor nor its supporters should circumvent these restrictions.

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Unknown member
Dec 19, 2023

Great! Squeezing the Russian economy and the Russian oligarchs will end this war and head off the next war in an economical way. Also, Ukraine is more motivated than Russia and has had a lot of experience in partisan warfare - may this generation make their grandfathers proud!!!

Slava Ukraini!

Also, these sanctions send a message to China, who is bullying their neighbors. Ukraine is sending a message to all nations bullied by China, too. This war may prevent a war in Asia...

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