The hot debate around the 9th package of sanctions against Russia

EU foreign ministers gathered to discuss fresh sanctions against Russia for its war against Ukraine. Still, they needed help to agree on the most effective action. Others are more worried about the boomerang effects on the European economy or the start of World War. 

Some European leaders seek harsh action against Moscow, including a $30 limit on Russian oil price, the EU Observer reported.

The draft on the table was reportedly described as “modest” and contained minimal elements that could pose a practical challenge for Russia. Even this version has trouble receiving the required two-thirds majority vote for punishment.

New EU sanctions against Russia

Further EU sanctions will undoubtedly hit the Russian propaganda media, exposing the horrors concealed behind the propaganda curtain.

During the morning session, the Council of Foreign Ministers of the EU countries disagreed on the draft “because of the volume and complexity” of the measures, the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell said.

The ninth package’s current form imposes limitations on 144 individuals, media personnel, and four Russian TV channels, a ban on selling dual-purpose technologies to several Russian enterprises, and new penalties on at least two banks.

Economic measures against the Russian energy sector

In addition, the proposals include “further economic measures against the Russian energy and mining sectors, including a ban on new mining investments in Russia,” the Council of Foreign Ministers said in a statement.

The G7, gathering together, decided to give Ukraine a new €2.1 billion defense arms package focused on air defense as Russian missiles, artillery, and drones continue to target Ukrainian targets with no end to the battle in sight.

After President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed for modern tanks, artillery, and long-range weapons to repel Russia’s invasion, the Group of Seven promised to “fill Ukraine’s urgent needs.”

Mr. Zelensky also called on the G7 leaders, who gathered in a online\ meeting, to support his idea of convening a special Global Peace Summit dedicated to establishing peace in his country.

Western countries support Ukraine 

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace stated that if Russia continues to target civilian areas, he might be “open” to providing Ukraine with longer-range missiles to target Russian drone launches that destroy energy infrastructure.

The debate came after Hungary withdrew its support for an 18 billion euro macroeconomic stabilization package agreed upon by the EU in what some politicians called a “blackmail veto.” Hungary, which relies on Russia for cheap energy, has called for moderation in the sanctions regime and has refused to participate in many of them.

The financial aid has been approved, but only by circumventing that all willing participants put the funds at the level of their national budgets, which they all fully control, rather than at the level of the EU budget, which requires a unanimous vote by all members.

On the opposing side of the argument, twelve EU nations have written to the Commission asking that the maximum oil price imposed on Russia be lowered from the compromise level of $60 agreed upon last week to a devastating decrease to $30, which would seriously harm Russia’s finances.

New sanctions against Iran for drone supply to Russia

New sanctions include punishment against four Iranians and four Iranian firms that, according to the EU Council, give military assistance to Russia by delivering combat drones.

Despite clear evidence of their use, both Tehran and Moscow deny drone delivery. According to Ukraine, Russia has been employing Iranian-made UAVs since mid-September.

A list of 144 Russians, including TV presenters Boris Korchevnikov and Marina Kim, musician Grigoriy Leps, blogger Dmitry Puchkov, and film director Nikita Mikhalkov, is the main component of the material that EUObserver has seen. 

The list might contain two daughters and a cousin of Ramzan Kadyrov, the president of Chechnya, and four members of Yuriy Kovalchuk’s family, including his wife Tetyana Kovalchuk, who was ranked eighth in terms of wealth in Russia last year. The remaining individuals are lower-level military members, senators, governors, deputies, and minor bureaucrats.

Russians who will fall under sanctions

According to the EU documentation on sanctions, Korchevnikov, for instance, posted comments on social media in which he “associates the West and Ukraine with godlessness and the devil.”

Mikheev promoted the “ideology of the Russian world” and spoke of the “expected necessity for the ‘denazification’ and ‘demilitarization’ of Ukraine,” they continued, referring to the Kremlin’s presumption of a battle of civilizations between Eurasia and the West.

Four Kovalchuk family members, who own media and social media businesses and have ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, will be punished by the EU with asset freezes and travel bans.

Tatyana Kovalchuk was “Russia’s third richest lady with a fortune of $600 million and shared ownership of the Igor ski resort outside St. Petersburg in Russia, “where Putin’s daughter celebrated her wedding.”

Russian television companies in the EU

Five heads of the Russian television companies REN TV and TV-Novosti also will be under sanctions.

The property of the state-owned media companies VGTRK and National Media Group, the state broadcaster ANO TV-Novosti, and the Strategic Culture Fund, which the EU referred to as a front for Russian SVR’s foreign intelligence, had to be frozen in the EU.

Additionally, the broadcasting rights for three Russian channels—REN TV, “Russia 1,” and NTV/NTV “Mir”—were to be revoked in Eu members.

The specified Russian mass media were guilty of “serious distortion and manipulation of facts” to justify the war against Ukraine and destabilize the EU countries, which constitutes a “substantial and direct threat to public order and security of the Union,” the documents state.

Details of the new sanctions could still be changed pending talks by EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

And even if these figures are not very significant, they publicly support severe crimes committed by the Russian regime and backed by Moscow propaganda.

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