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European Council announces new sanctions against Russia

11th package of sanctions on Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine: additional 71 individuals and 33 entities included in the EU’s sanctions list and new tools to counter circumvention and information warfare

by EUToday Correspondents
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Within the comprehensive eleventh package of sanctions adopted this week, the European Council decided to impose restrictive measures on an additional 71 individuals and 33 entities responsible for actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine

Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Today we are targeting 104 individuals and entities who are instrumental in the continuation of this brutal war, including those responsible for military activities, for political decisions, who are polluting the public space with disinformation and malicious narratives, adding to the military warfare also through information warfare. We are also targeting those involved in inhumane deportations and forced adoption of Ukrainian children to Russia, as well Russian IT companies providing critical technology and software to the Russian intelligence. We will continue to increase pressure on Russia as long as it takes.

Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

The decision strengthens the ability of the EU to counter sanctions circumvention as well as to target the information warfare conducted by Russia. It also adds 104 new listings, which cover various sectors and categories of individuals and entities.

As regards the first point, the Council adopted the first listing related to sanctions circumvention, following an infringement procedure in one member state. The Council also extended the existing listing criterion on circumvention so as to cover also individuals and entities significantly frustrating the restrictive measures in such a way as to contribute to Russia’s capacity to wage war.

In response to the information warfare conducted by Russia, the Council introduced a new listing criterion to cover companies in the IT sector that provide critical technology and software to the Russian intelligence community. Based on this new listing criterion, the Council designated companies from the IT sector holding a licence administered by the Federal Security Service or the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation.

A substantial number of designations target the Russian military and defence sector: senior military officials of the Russian armed forces, companies manufacturing missiles, drones, anti-aircraft missile system, military vehicles and high-tech components for weapons, as well as companies producing goods and technologies covered by the above-mentioned licences.

Designations also include individuals responsible for the forced transfers and deportation of Ukrainian children and persons responsible for the looting of Ukraine’s cultural heritage.

Today’s sanctions also continue to target actors involved in disinformation, including the listing of a television and radio company linked to the Russian armed forces, media executives, propagandists and other individuals responsible for disinformation.

The Council is also sanctioning the Foundation for the Support and Protection of the Rights of Compatriots Living Abroad, which plays an important supporting role in implementing the foreign policy goals of the Russian Government, and its Executive Directorand tasked with coordinating the mobilisation efforts of the Russian Federation to support its war of aggression against Ukraine.

The Council also designated separatist military officials who were convicted by a Dutch court over the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. This action is taken in close coordination with Australia.

Lastly, designations includes members of the judiciary who took politically motivated decisions against Ukrainian citizens who opposed the annexation of Crimea, as well as businesspersons, a deputy minister and a number of Russian local officials and two banks: MRB Bank and CMR Bank, which operate in the illegally annexed territories of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

Altogether, EU restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine now apply to almost 1 800 individuals and entities altogether. All those designated in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine are subject to an asset freeze and EU citizens and companies are forbidden from making funds available to them. Natural persons are additionally subject to a travel ban, which prevents them from entering or transiting through EU territories. In the European Council conclusions of 23 March 2023, the EU reiterated its resolute condemnation of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, which constitutes a manifest violation of the UN Charter. The EU also reiterated that it remained committed to maintaining and increasing collective pressure on Russia, including through possible further restrictive measures.

The European Council conclusions also underlined the importance and urgency of stepping up efforts to ensure the effective implementation of sanctions at European and national level and its firm commitment to effectively preventing and countering their circumvention in and by third countries.

The EU stands firmly and fully with Ukraine and will continue to provide strong political, economic, military, financial and humanitarian support to Ukraine and its people for as long as it takes.

 

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