Tuesday, September 26

The EU has already frozen 30,000 million to Russian oligarchs and entities

The list of sanctioned individuals for his ties to the Vladimir Putin’s regime and his involvement in the war Russia on Ukraine continues to grow with incorporation of 217 new names and 18 entities to the black list European Union, that raise the number of people who will not be able to enter European territory, and whose assets and property must be frozen by the European authorities, to 898 as well as 32 entities. Pending the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the EU, it is expected that two of Putin’s daughters will appear on the list, Katerina Tikhonova and Maria Vorontsovaas well as several oligarchs from the close circle of the Russian president, including the aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripasta. According to Brussels, so far the Member States have already frozen 30 billion assets.

Among the newly sanctioned, according to the European Union, are included oligarchs and businessmen who have played a “key” role in the invasion. Also high officials of the regime, actors in the disinformation campaigns and systematic computer manipulation to spread the aggressive narrative of the Kremlin against Ukraine as well as relatives of individuals already sanctioned, as is the case of Putin’s daughters, with which they aspire to close possible loopholes in sanctions. In total, since the start of the war, the EU has included almost 900 names and 32 companies on a list that since the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 now totals 1,091 people and 80 entities. In this last battery, 179 members of the so-called governments and parliaments of Donetsk and Lugansk have also been incorporated.

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As confirmed this Friday by the European Commission, so far more than half of the member states has notified Brussels of the measures taken to freeze the assets of sanctioned individuals amounting to almost €30 billion and include goods and assets such as boats, helicopters, houses and other art. In addition, they have been blocked €196 billion in financial transactions. The Community Executive has provided these figures within the framework of the high-level group created in March to improve coordination on the application of sanctions to Russia and Belarus. This is a platform aimed at coordinating the actions of member states to freeze and confiscate the assets of Russian and Belarusian oligarchs.

Coal embargo for 8,000 million

The fifth package of sanctions also includes the veto on Russian coal imports, although in the case of contracts already in force, it will be applied with a transitional period of four months or 120 days, which means that it will be applicable from August 8. Although the European Commission initially estimated the impact at 4,000 million a year for the Russian economy, the latest figures updated by Brussels, corresponding to 2021, raise the impact to 8 billion annually.

The new package of sanctions also confirms the prohibition of access to european ports of ships flying the Russian flag, although with exceptions in the case of transporting agricultural and food products, humanitarian aid as well as energy. Refering to road transport banthe possibility for Russian and Belarusian operators to transport goods is also limited, including in transit, although with exceptions also for pharmaceutical and medical, agricultural and food products including wheat, as well as humanitarian aid.

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In financial matters, and as proposed by Brussels, transitions are totally prohibited and the assets of four other Russian banks are frozen –Sovkombank, Novikombank, VTB and Otkritie– accounting for 23% of the market share in the Russian banking sector, which will further weaken Russia’s financial system. In addition, high-value crypto asset services to Russia are banned, to close potential loopholes from previous sanctions rounds, as well as trust advice to Russian millionaires to make it harder for them to keep their wealth in the EU.

Another of the major phases of the new round focuses on the trade with the aim of limiting the Russian exports of key material – from quantum computers to semiconductors, software or sensitive machinery and chemical products – worth 10,000 million as well as the russian imports that will affect on this occasion products such as vodka and other spirits, high-end seafood, including caviarthe woodthe cement and the fertilizers with a value of 5,500 million euros. In addition, to continue closing loopholes in European legislation and prevent Moscow from escaping sanctions, Russian companies will not be able to apply for public contracts in the Member States and Russian public companies will be excluded from access to all types of financing. For example, Brussels will suspend all payments under European programs such as Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe, Euratom and Erasmus+ and there will be no new contracts.


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