The European Union has agreed to impose new sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. The sanctions target officials and organizations accused of supporting the war, spreading propaganda, or supplying drones. They also restrict trade on products that could be used by the armed forces. The EU’s Swedish presidency said the sanctions are directed at military and political decision-makers, companies supporting or working within the Russian military industry, and commanders in the Wagner Group. Transactions with some of Russia’s largest banks are also prohibited.
Asset freezes were slapped on three more Russian banks and seven Iranian “entities” that manufacture military drones, which the EU suspects have been used by Russia during the war. The new measures, proposed by the EU’s executive branch three weeks ago, were only adopted after much internal wrangling over their exact make-up, and made public one day after the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — the intended target date.
The sanctions are meant to undermine Russia’s economy and drain funds for its war effort. However, they are also increasingly inflicting pain on European economies already hit by high inflation and energy prices and still suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before this latest round of measures, the EU had already targeted almost 1,400 Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, government ministers, lawmakers, and oligarchs believed loyal to the Kremlin.
The bloc had also frozen the assets of more than 170 organizations, ranging from political parties and paramilitary groups to banks, private companies, and media outlets accused of spreading pro-Kremlin propaganda.
Russia’s energy sector was hit, too — notably oil and coal — and the bloc, through its own measures and political decisions combined with retaliation from Moscow, was rapidly weaned off its dependence on Russian natural gas. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed the new package in his nightly address on Saturday.
“Sanctions will continue to be introduced so that nothing remains of the potential of Russian aggression,” he said. “There are new sanctions steps in the 10th package, powerful ones, against the defense industry and the financial sector of the terrorist state and against the propagandists who drowned Russian society in lies and are trying to spread their lies onto the whole world,” Zelenskyy said.
Impact of the Sanctions on Russia
The new EU sanctions are part of a coordinated effort with the US and the UK. In February, the US imposed sanctions on Russian individuals and entities in response to the invasion of Ukraine. Similarly, the UK imposed sanctions on 21 individuals and organizations over the same issue.
The EU’s latest sanctions are expected to have a significant impact on Russia’s economy. They target Russia’s defense industry, which accounts for a significant portion of the country’s economy. The sanctions also target Russia’s financial sector, which is closely linked to the country’s defense industry. The EU’s decision to freeze the assets of three Russian banks is expected to have a significant impact on Russia’s economy, as these banks are among the country’s largest.
The sanctions are also expected to have a significant impact on the EU’s economy. The EU is Russia’s largest trading partner, and the two economies are closely linked. The sanctions are expected to reduce trade between the two regions, which could have a significant impact on the EU’s economy. The sanctions could also increase inflation and energy prices in the EU, which is already suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The EU’s decision to impose new sanctions on Russia has been met with mixed reactions. Some EU member states, including Poland and the Baltic states, have been calling for tougher sanctions on Russia. Other EU member states, including Germany and Italy, have been more cautious, fearing the impact of the sanctions.