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Monday, March 4, 2024

European Union agrees to tighten sanctions against Russia and Belarus

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Michał Kasjanowicz
Michał Kasjanowicz
News about Politics & Tech
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Among other things, European Union member states agreed to impose sanctions on more Russian oligarchs and officials, tighten controls on cryptocurrency transfers, and ban maritime technology exports to Russia.

The French presidency of the Council of the European Union has conveyed that three Belarusian banks are to be excluded from the SWIFT system under new retaliations.

However, the new sanctions package does not include any more Russian banks, despite the fact that representatives of the EU institutions had previously mentioned such a possibility. EU officials wishing to remain anonymous indicated in a conversation with journalists in Brussels that some Russian banks were not included in the sanctions for exclusion from the SWIFT system on the grounds that they are responsible for executing transactions concerning energy supplies to the EU. This included Sbierbank and Gazprombank.

To date, the EU Council has imposed sanctions on a total of 680 Russians and 702 Belarusians. They consist in freezing their financial assets. All the restricted persons are not allowed to enter or pass through the EU territory.

PAP sources: ‘weak’ draft conclusions of EU summit on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine

According to PAP sources, the sanctions should be formally published in the Official Journal of the EU later on Wednesday. The new package will be discussed at the EU summit, which will start on Thursday in Versailles, near Paris.

There is already a draft of the summit’s conclusions, which, according to the Polish Press Agency’s diplomatic sources in Brussels, is “weak”. Her interlocutors point out that the document does not include a strong call for further sanctions against Russia or signals of a positive response to Ukraine’s application for EU membership, which Poland wants. Negotiations by member state ambassadors over the final text are ongoing.

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