The European Union Commission announced yesterday (06.10.2022) that the 8th package of sanctions against Russia was accepted in the Council.
Accordingly, in addition to the sanctions measures that envisage the expansion of the scope of existing sanctions as a continuation of the previously published sanctions packages, new types of sanctions to be implemented for the first time are also included in the package. In the statement, it is mentioned that the 8th sanctions package is closely coordinated with international partners.
The EU Commission said that the sanctions package, along with new EU import bans worth €7 billion to reduce Russia's revenues, further deprives the Kremlin's military and industrial complex of key components and technologies, and Russia's European services and expertise. It is aimed at depriving the Russian army and its suppliers of certain goods and equipment they need to continue their war on Ukrainian soil. In this context, it is stated that the 8th sanctions package also serves as the basis of the legal framework necessary to implement the oil price cap stipulated by the G7 countries. You can find here the G7 announcement on the subject on 02.09.2022)
The highlights of the explanations regarding the scope of the 8th sanctions package are given below:
The scope of sanction was expanded with the persons and organizations included in the list:
The list of sanctions has been updated by adding new ones among the previously published sanctioned persons and organizations, and the sanctioned area has been expanded to include Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions (2 new regions have been added next to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions). In this context, key decision makers, oligarchs, high-ranking military officials and propagandists are targeted, including individuals and organizations working in the defense sector, such as high-ranking and military officials, as well as companies supporting the Russian armed forces, and responsible for undermining Ukraine's territorial integrity. is stated to have been received. It is also emphasized that the EU continues to target actors who spread disinformation about the war.
New import and export restrictions targeted Russian trade:
Additional export restrictions aimed at reducing Russia's access to military, industrial and technological products, as well as its ability to develop the defense and security sector, and a ban on the export of small arms and other goods under the Anti-Torture Regulation were added. It is stated that the export bans include banning the export of coal, including coking coal, certain electronic components, technical items used in the aerospace industry, as well as some chemicals.
As for imports, additional restrictions worth approximately 7 billion Euros were agreed upon and restrictions were imposed on the import of Russian finished and semi-finished products specified in the decision (with a transitional period foreseen for some semi-finished products). For example, bans are imposed on the import of Russian finished and semi-finished steel products, machinery and tools, plastics, vehicles, textiles, shoes, leather, ceramics, certain chemical products and non-gold jewelry.
Measures within the scope of the G7 oil price cap:
Under the package, the EU's ban on importing Russian offshore crude is envisioned to remain in full, while a ceiling price will allow European operators to undertake the transport of Russian oil to third countries and support it, provided the price remains below a predetermined "limit". With this practice, it is aimed to reduce Russia's revenues further and to keep the global energy markets stable through continued supply. Thus, it will also help address inflation and stabilize energy costs at a time when high costs – particularly high fuel prices – are a major concern for all Europeans. It is mentioned that this measure is closely coordinated with the G7 partners, and the measures will come into effect after 5 December 2022 for crude oil and 5 February 2023 for refined petroleum products, after an additional decision by the Council.
Other sanction measures;
- EU citizens are prohibited from serving in the governing bodies of designated state enterprises. In addition, all transactions with the Russian Maritime Register were prohibited and this institution was added to the list of state-owned enterprises subject to the transaction ban.
- Existing bans on crypto-assets have been tightened by banning all crypto-asset wallets, accounts or custody services regardless of wallet size (previously allowed up to 10,000 Euros).
- The scope of this measure has been expanded by adding IT consultancy, legal consultancy, and architectural and engineering services to the previously prohibited services under the sanctions on the Russian government or residents in Russia. Along with the new additions, this scope of banned services is potentially aimed at weakening Russia's industrial capacity, as Russia is highly dependent on importing these services.
- The EU has introduced a new listing criterion that will allow sanctions to be imposed on persons who facilitate violations of the ban.
In the statements made, the EU's sanctions against Russia are effective and harm Russia's ability to produce new weapons, repair existing ones, and prevent them from transporting materials. It is expressed that the geopolitical, economic and financial consequences of Russia's continued aggression are clear. It is especially emphasized that EU sanctions do not affect energy and agri-food exports from Russia to third countries.
Recalling that the European Commission, as the guardian of the EU Treaties, monitors the implementation of EU sanctions across its jurisdiction, it is emphasized that the EU is united in solidarity with Ukraine, and the EU together with its international partners, including additional political, financial and humanitarian support, will support Ukraine, and will continue to support its people. It is possible to interpret the current package and its statements as a clear indication that the EU will continue to announce additional packages by expanding the scope of sanctions against Russia in the following period.