EU is preparing ninth package of sanctions against Russia – Politico

Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, which are in favor of tougher and faster EU sanctions against Russia, are pushing other EU members and the European Commission to agree on an upper limit on oil prices and the ninth package of EU sanctions at the same time. Politico reported this citing European diplomats as a source.

However, some EU diplomats are dissatisfied with the attempt of these countries to link oil price caps with new sanctions, arguing that the package is not ready yet and linking them will only complicate the situation, the newspaper writes.

According to the two officials, the ninth sanctions package will focus on many separate lists targeting Russian officials, propagandists, executives, and other figures who support the Putin regime.

“EU countries have proposed long lists of names, and Commission experts are now reviewing them to make sure they can be linked to Russia’s war – which is legally necessary to ensure that the sanctions remain in place if they are challenged in court, as they often are,” Politico reports, citing its unnamed diplomatic sources.

EU oil embargo on Russia goes into effect on December 5

Before the EU oil embargo on Russia goes into effect on December 5, the treaty must be approved by all 27 EU member states. Potentially, such approval might occur soon, possibly even at a gathering of EU ambassadors on Wednesday. After all, the EU’s most recent set of sanctions included a legal justification for the oil price restriction. 

At the time, Malta, Greece, and Cyprus were concerned about how the restriction on oil prices would affect their shipping businesses since their tanker fleets carried the majority of Russian oil. This prompted various concessions for those nations, including a monitoring mechanism by the Commission to evaluate vessel reflagging as one example of a technique to circumvent sanctions.

Russian oil price can be limited to $60 per barrel

The European Commission has informed EU nations about the legalities of the price cap but not the actual price. Janet Yellen, the US Treasury Secretary has proposed a price of $60 per barrel, which is below market levels but near to those at which Russian oil is being traded in Asia, where India and China purchase it at a discount. The cap would, however, be significantly greater than the cost of production in Russia.

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