“The European Commission welcomes today’s agreement of EU member states on the 8th package of sanctions. We will never agree to Putin’s fake referendums and any annexation in Ukraine. We are determined to continue making the Kremlin pay,” the message reads.
“This package introduces new EU import bans worth 7 billion euros to limit Russia’s income, as well as export restrictions, which will further deprive the Kremlin’s military-industrial complex of key components and technologies, and the Russian economy of European services and expertise,” it says. website of the European Commission.
In previous packages of sanctions, the EU itself has already refused to supply Russian oil by sea – the ban will take effect from December 5th. Now, with the 8th package of sanctions, EU countries will be prohibited from providing any services for the transportation of oil from Russia to third countries if its price is higher than the established values.
Sanctions also deprive the Russian army and its suppliers of additional goods and equipment necessary for waging war on Ukrainian territory.
The package also lays the groundwork for the necessary legislative framework to implement the G7 oil price cap.
8th package contains the following elements:
Additional individuals and entities have been sanctioned. This targets those 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.
EU restrictive measure target key decision makers, oligarchs, senior military officials and propagandists, responsible for undermining Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
Extension of restrictions to the oblasts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia
The geographical scope of the restrictive measures in response to the recognition of the non-government controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine and the ordering of Russian armed forces into those areas has been extended to cover all the non-government controlled areas of Ukraine in the oblasts of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.
New export restrictions
Additional export restrictions have been introduced which aim to reduce Russia’s access to military, industrial and technological items, as well as its ability to develop its defence and security sector.
This includes the banning of the export of coal including coking coal (which is used in Russian industrial plants), specific electronic components (found in Russian weapons), technical items used in the aviation sector, as well as certain chemicals.
A prohibition on exporting small arms and other goods under the anti-torture Regulation has been added.
Implementing the G7 oil price cap
Today’s package marks the beginning of the implementation within the EU of the G7 agreement on Russian oil exports. While the EU’s ban on importing Russian seaborne crude oil fully remains, the price cap, once implemented, would allow European operators to undertake and support the transport of Russian oil to third countries, provided its price remains under a pre-set “cap”. This will help to further reduce Russia’s revenues, while keeping global energy markets stable through continued supplies. It will thus also help address inflation and keep energy costs stable at a time when high costs – particularly elevated fuel prices – are a great concern to all Europeans.
This measure is being closely coordinated with G7 partners. It would take effect after 5 December 2022 for crude and 5 February 2023 for refined petroleum products, after a further decision by the Council.
Restrictions on State-owned enterprises
Today’s package bans EU nationals from holding posts in the governing bodies of certain state-owned enterprises.
It also bans all transactions with the Russian Maritime Register, adding it to the list of state-owned enterprises which are subject to a transaction ban.
Financial, IT consultancy and other business services
The existing prohibitions on crypto assets have been tightened by banning all crypto-asset wallets, accounts, or custody services, irrespective of the amount of the wallet (previously up to €10,000 was allowed).
The package widens the scope of services that can no longer be provided to the government of Russia or legal persons established in Russia: these now include IT consultancy, legal advisory, architecture and engineering services. These are significant as they will potentially weaken Russia’s industrial capacity because it is highly dependent on importing these services.
Deterring sanctions circumvention
The EU has introduced a new listing criterion, which will allow it to sanction persons who facilitate the infringements of the prohibition against circumvention of sanctions.