EU adopts the eighth package of sanctions against Russia
In light of Russia’s escalating war of aggression against Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, the Council decided to impose a new package of economic and individual sanctions against Russia. The news package introduces new EU import bans, as well as export restrictions. The package also lays the basis for the required legal framework to implement the oil price cap.
The EU exended the import ban on Russian finished and semi-finished steel products that either originate in Russia or are exported from Russia. Further import restrictions are also imposed on wood pulp and paper, cigarettes, plastics and cosmetics, elements used in the jewellery industry such as stones and precious metals, non-gold jewellery, machinery and appliances, vehicles, textiles, footwear, leather, ceramics, certain chemical products.
The Council also decided that as of today, the geographical scope of the restrictions introduced on 23 February, including notably the import ban on goods from the non-government controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, will be extended to cover also the non-controlled areas of the oblasts of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.
The package extends the list of restricted items which may contribute to Russia’s military and technological enhancement or the development of its defence and security sector. The list will now include certain electronic components, additional chemicals and goods that can be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel treatment. It is forbidden to sell, supply, transfer or export civilian firearms and their essential components and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts.
Additional individuals and entities have been sanctioned. This targets hose involved in Russia’s occupation, illegal annexation, and sham “referenda” in the occupied territories/oblasts of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions. It also includes individuals and entities working in the defence sector, such as high-ranking and military officials, as well as companies supporting the Russian armed forces. The EU also continues to target actors who spread disinformation about the war. The Council also decided to broaden the listing criteria on which specific designations can be based, in order to include the possibility to target those who facilitate the circumvention of EU sanctions.
Price cap on oli
The he package agreed introduces into the EU legislation the basis to put in place a price cap related to the maritime transport of Russian oil for third countries. Concretely, the combination of these measures works as follows. It will be prohibited to provide maritime transport and to provide technical assistance, brokering services or financing or financial assistance, related to the maritime transport to third countries of crude oil (as of December 2022) or petroleum products (as of February 2023) which originate in or are exported from Russia. The price cap derogation would allow the provision of the transport and these services if the oil or petroleum products are purchased at or below a pre-established price cap. The new prohibition for EU vessels to provide maritime transport for such products to third countries will apply as of the date in which the Council will unanimously decide to introduce the price cap.
- A ban on EU nationals to hold any posts on the governing bodies of certain Russian state-owned or controlled legal persons, entities or bodies
- The insertion in the list of state-owned entities that are subject to the transaction ban of the Russian Maritime Shipping Register, a 100% State-owned entity which performs activities related to the classification and inspection, including in the field of security, of Russian and non-Russian ships and crafts
- A full ban of the provision of crypto-asset wallet, account or custody services to Russian persons and residents, regardless of the total value of those crypto-assets
- The prohibition to provide architectural and engineering services as well as IT consultancy services and legal advisory services to Russia