EC proposes 11th package of sanctions on Russia, targeted against circumvention

Speaking in Kyiv on May 9, European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen unveiled details of the 11th package of sanctions against Russia, saying that the focus of the package was on cracking down on circumvention.

The EC adopted the proposal for the 11th package of sanctions on May 5, Von der Leyen said.

“First, we are sharpening our existing tools: We are adding more products to our transit ban,” she said .

Von der Leyen said that for example, advanced tech products or aircraft parts that are going to third countries via Russia will no longer end up in the Kremlin’s hands.

“However, we will need to take additional action,” she said.

“We recently see a growth of highly unusual trade flows between the European Union and certain third countries. These goods then end up in Russia. This is why, secondly, we are proposing a new tool to combat sanctions circumvention,” Von der Leyen said.

If it was seen that goods are going from the European Union to third countries and then end up in Russia, the EC could propose to EU countries to sanction those goods’ export.

“This tool will be a last resort and it will be used cautiously, following a very diligent risk analysis, and after approval by EU member states. But there should be no doubt that we work against sanctions circumvention,” Von der Leyen said.

She said that the third element in this package was a proposal to ban “shadow” entities from Russia and third countries who are intentionally circumventing EU sanctions.

“We continue to do everything in our power to erode Putin’s war machine and his revenues. Our sanctions are working. And we reduced, for example, our imports from Russia by nearly two-thirds, thus depriving Russia of crucial revenue streams,” she said.

“We have already imposed a heavy price on the Kremlin through the 10 successive sanctions packages,” Von der Leyen said.

(Photo of Von der Leyen and Ukrainian President Zelenskyy in Kyiv on May 9 via Von der Leyen’s Twitter account)

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