EU targets evasion in new round of Russia sanctions

AFP , Monday 8 May 2023

Brussels has proposed to EU member states an 11th round of sanctions over Russia's war on Ukraine aimed at cutting down on evasion, a spokesman said Monday.

European Commission
File photo: The European Commission insignia and flag. AFP


"This package will be focusing on the implementation of sanctions, their effectiveness and how we avoid the evasion of sanctions," European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said.

As part of the package the EU's executive has recommended halting exports of sensitive technologies to eight Chinese companies over suspicions they were selling them on to Russia, according to a document seen by AFP.

EU ambassadors will meet on Wednesday to begin discussions on the latest proposals.

The 27-nation EU has hit Moscow with an unprecedented swathe of sanctions since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the war on Ukraine last February.

But some European diplomats concede the bloc has now come close to reaching the limit on broad measures all EU countries are willing to agree.

Brussels is now turning its attention to closing the loopholes in the sanctions already in place.

The EU wants to crack down on the re-exportation via third countries to Russia of sensitive technology that can be used on the battlefield, such as microchips.

European officials have complained that countries including Turkey, the UAE, and ex-Soviet states in the Caucasus and Central Asia have seen a huge increase in sanctioned goods they import.

Companies in Armenia, Iran, Uzbekistan and the United Arab Emirates are also on the list of those to which the commission is proposing restricting exports.

As part of the new proposals, the EU is also looking to streamline its cumbersome procedure for going after countries involved in circumvention.

It is pushing to establish a mechanism that could allow it to restrict the export of certain goods to third countries suspected of serving as conduits to Russia.

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