EU countries on Wednesday reached an agreement on an eighth sanctions package against Russia in response to its recent partial military mobilization and illegal annexation of Ukrainian regions.
“(EU) Ambassadors reached a political agreement on new sanctions against Russia, as a strong EU response to Putin’s illegal annexation of Ukraine’s territories,” the Czech government, acting as the term president of the Council of the European Union, announced on Twitter.
The measures include a prohibition of transporting oil to non-EU countries above a certain price, mostly affecting the shipping industry of Greece, the Greek Cypriot administration, and Malta.
The bloc also extends its import ban to Russian “steel products, wood pulp, paper, machinery and appliances, chemicals, plastic, cigarettes,” the Czech EU presidency said.
According to European Commission estimates, it would deprive Russia of €7 billion ($6.96 billion) in revenues yearly.
The EU further restricts exports of IT, engineering, and legal services to Russia, as well as expands the list of high-tech goods that cannot be sold to the country.
The new package also adds to the individual sanctions list the people responsible for the mobilization of over 300,000 Russians and the recent organization of referendums in four Ukrainian regions, leading to Moscow last week declaring their “annexation,” a move widely condemned.
Since the beginning of Russia’s war on Ukraine in February, EU sanctions have targeted, among others, President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, banned Russian gold, oil, and coal imports, and exports of luxury and high-tech goods, as well as excluded Russian and Belarusian banks from the international payment system SWIFT.
Ahead of the vote, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell also reaffirmed the bloc’s support for Ukraine with military aid, diplomatic pressure, and restrictive measures, explaining that despite Putin’s expectations, the “war will not end because Western countries got exhausted.”
He asserted that “Ukraine’s fate is tied to Europe’s.”