Netherlands Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra stated on Monday that the EU should establish a body to address widespread flouting of the organization’s sanctions on Russia directly from Brussels.
Potwithstanding the fact that Russia suffers severely as a result of the EU’s restrictive policies, Hoekstra claimed that “they are being avoided on a vast scale.” Hoekstra added, “I would want us to establish up a sanctions headquarters in Brussels, geared against circumvention. We presently have too little ability in the EU to analyze, coordinate, and push new penalties. “This would be a forum where member states can combine information and resources on effectiveness and evasion, where we do considerably more to fight circumvention,” the Dutch minister said.
According to the Dutch plan, the new sanctions headquarters would create a monitoring list of industries and trade flows with a high circumvention risk. In order to prevent their products from being used in the Russian war machine, companies will be required to incorporate end-use provisions in their contracts, according to Hoekstra.
“The EU must name, shame, penalize, and prosecute those who help in sanction evasion,” he stated. “The EU must deploy the full force of its collective economic might and criminal justice systems against them.”
Twelve EU member states, including Germany, France, Spain, and Italy, have endorsed the idea since The Hague began disseminating it a week ago, Hoekstra told a gathering of reporters. Presently, member states have the authority to determine whether to impose penalties, and they do so by voting unanimously to do so. EU capitals are generally responsible for carrying out these decisions.
Hoekstra stated, “There is support, but we will need to define what it can achieve.”
The EU executive presented ideas in May of last year that would make breaking EU sanctions a criminal throughout the EU. Member states, who have historically been wary of reforms requiring modifications to their criminal laws, are still needed to support the idea. The new authority might send cases straight to the general prosecutor of the EU if this legislative provision were in place.
Hoekstra added that specifics would still need to be worked out about how the new headquarters would handle the seizure and freezing of frozen Russian assets. According to Hoekstra, “it is absolutely evident that this will be a major element of our future geopolitical arsenal, that we need more for this particular reason, for this particular conflict.”
The EU also designated a special sanctions ambassador in December to seek for stricter enforcement and compliance with its punitive policies in third-party nations.