Today, the European Union published its fifth major round of sanctions on Russia and Belarus. The sanctions package includes a full transaction ban on four major Russian banks, port and transportation sanctions, import bans on coal, wood, cement, seafood, and liquor, an export ban on jet fuel and certain sensitive goods, additional asset freezes, and measures intended to close loopholes in existing sanctions.
The EU expanded existing banking sanctions by imposing asset freeze on VTB Bank, Sovcombank, Novikombank, and Otkritie FC Bank. These banks were previously cut off from the SWIFT network and were listed as Specially Designated Nationals by the United States.
Port & Transport Ban
Today’s measures will ban vessels registered under the flag of Russia from entering EU ports after April 16, 2022 and will prohibit any Russian or Belarusian “road transport undertaking” from transporting goods by road within the EU, including in transit. A “road transport undertaking” is any person or body commercially engaged in the transport of freight by means of motor vehicles or combinations of vehicles.
The sanctions prohibit the purchase, import, or transfer coal and certain other solid fossil fuels into the EU if they originate in Russia or are exported from Russia. The EU also imposed import bans on certain wood, cement, fertilizers, seafood and liquor products from Russia. Banned items are listed in Annexes XXII and XXI of (EU) No 833/2014, respectively.
Under the new rules, it is prohibited to export jet fuel and certain sensitive goods to Russia, including quantum computers and advanced semiconductors, high-end electronics, software, certain machinery and transportation equipment. These items are listed in Annex XXIII of (EU) No 833/2014.
The EU imposed asset freeze sanctions today on a number of Russian companies, officials, oligarchs, and their family members, including Vladimir Putin’s daughters; German Gref, the CEO of Sberbank; and Oleg Deripaska.
Amendments to Existing Sanctions
The EU also imposed or updated a number of measures to strengthen existing measures and close perceived loopholes in the EU sanctions regime. These measures include:
- A general ban on the participation of Russian companies in public procurement in member states;
- The exclusion of all financial support to Russian public bodies;
- An extended prohibition on deposits to cryptowallets; and
- An extension of the ban on the export of euro-denominated banknotes and on the sale of euro-denominated transferrable securities to Russia and Belarus, and persons in those countries, to all official currencies of the EU member states.