The European Council this week unanimously adopted a decision to add the violation of restrictive measures to the list of ‘EU crimes’ included in the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU.
The EU has responded with determination to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war against Ukraine. It has adopted an unprecedented number of sanctions to target Russia’s economy and thwart its ability to continue with this aggression. To succeed, their implementation requires a joint effort, and today’s decision is an essential tool to ensure any attempts to circumvent these measures will be stopped.
Pavel Blažek, Czech Minister of Justice
The EU has adopted a number of restrictive measures in the context of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and it is essential that these measures are fully implemented. Currently member states have different definitions of what constitutes a violation of restrictive measures and what penalties should be applied in the event of violation. This could lead to different degrees of enforcement of sanctions and a risk of these measures being circumvented, potentially allowing sanctioned persons to continue accessing their assets and supporting regimes targeted by EU measures.
The inclusion of the violation of restrictive measures in the list of ‘EU crimes’ is the first of two steps to ensure a similar degree of sanctions enforcement throughout the EU and to dissuade attempts to circumvent or violate EU measures.