EU to agree on 12th package of sanctions against Russia – media

The European Union states are close to agreeing on the 12th package of sanctions against Russia, which includes a ban on diamonds of Russian origin and additional restrictions on Russian oil.

Four informed sources told Reuters about this. The currently agreed EU sanctions wording contains stricter measures to prove that Russian oil is traded at a price below the $60 per barrel ceiling.

At the same time, according to Reuters, the European Commission’s proposal to ban the sale of old oil tankers to Russia, which could be used to circumvent the price ceiling, was softened under pressure from Mediterranean countries.

In the latest draft of sanctions, shipping companies now only have to “report” such sales.

EU member states have also finalized the provision banning the re-export to Russia of all goods included in the list of customs codes of the European Commission. As expected, the list of goods has been shortened, and to control the implementation of this provision, EU companies will enter into contracts with their counterparties, and the transition to such contracts will be phased in.

In addition, the EU members abandoned the proposal to mandatorily authorize “any transfer of funds” by a Russian company or a Russian citizen outside the EU. According to the draft, such a rule would apply to transfers of 100 thousand euros or more.

At the same time, the EU is still discussing the provisions on the exemption of sanctioned goods for personal use, from personal belongings to cars, as well as the possible extension of sanctions exemptions for member states.

According to Reuters sources, the ban on imports of non-industrial Russian diamonds has already been agreed upon after the decision of the Group of Seven leaders last week and should come into effect on January 1, 2024.

The Western sanctions penalize Russia for its war against Ukraine. Two years after Putin launched a military invasion of a neighboring sovereign country, the war is going on, and there is still a need for more sanctions.

Moscow has managed to develop cunning sanctions evasion schemes via third countries. This is one of the targets of the new sanctions package. Preventing the Kremlin from getting items for its war machine would help Ukraine repel Russian aggression and stop Russia’s war from spreading further to Europe.

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