EU targets Iran drones, Russian tech in new Ukraine sanctions

AFP , Wednesday 15 Feb 2023

The European Union's executive arm proposed Wednesday new sanctions on Russia that would cut off goods worth 11 billion euros and target Iran's drone producers over the war in Ukraine.

Ursula von der Leyen
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a debate on the results of the war of aggression by Russia against Ukraine, as part of a plenary session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, on February 15, 2023. AFP


European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said she hoped the EU's 27 member states would agree to the new package as part of a joint battery of G7 sanctions on the one-year anniversary of the invasion on February 24.

"We are targeting many industrial goods that Russia needs, and that it cannot get through backfilling through third countries," she said, citing "vital goods such as electronics, specialized vehicles, machine parts, spare parts for trucks and jet engines."

She said Brussels wanted export controls on 47 additional electronic components "that can be used in Russian weapons systems, including drones, missiles, helicopters".

The new package of sanctions is also due to place further curbs on Iranian manufacturers that have supplied Russia with drones used to attack Ukraine's infrastructure.

"Iran's Revolutionary Guards have been providing Russia with Shahed drones," von der Leyen said.

"Therefore, we are now adding seven Iranian entities to our dual-use regime. They are now under a complete ban on selling sensitive items to Russia," she said.

The EU has already imposed nine waves of unprecedented sanctions on Moscow since it launched its assault on Ukraine last February.

These have hit key Russian exports like oil in a bid to cut Russian President Vladimir Putin's war chest.

But diplomats in the bloc admit they are running out of new areas to target with each new round of measures.

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said the new sanctions would also include putting almost 100 more individuals and entities on an asset freeze and visa ban blacklist.

"These include those responsible for military activities for political decisions, propaganda, and disinformation," he said.

"We are targeting those involved in the human kidnappings, deportation, and forced adoption of Ukrainian children to Russia and also those enabling the looting of Ukrainian resources."

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