Brussels, Feb 25 (EFE).- The European Union on Saturday formally adopted its tenth package of sanctions against Russia, which includes a ban on exports of technology for military use and measures targeting Iranian companies that are supplying drones to Moscow.
The 27 member states reached an agreement on Friday evening on the one-year anniversary of Russia’s full-blown invasion of Ukraine and they gave themselves until 11:30 AM on Saturday to formally endorse the deal.
“We now have the most far-reaching sanctions ever – depleting Russia’s war arsenal and biting deep into its economy,” European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen tweeted.
“We are also turning up the pressure on those trying to circumvent our sanctions,” the EC chief added.
The EU’s head of foreign affairs, Josep Borrell, said that the bloc remains “united in our determination to dent Russia’s war machine.”
Negotiations between EU ambassadors stalled over several issues including agreeing on restrictions on Russian synthetic rubber imports with Poland pushing for stiffer quotas, but a deal was finally reached following over 24 hours of protracted talks.
According to Borrell, the fresh package of sanctions will include a ban on Russian propaganda outlets, target 121 individuals and entities, and contain “significant new import/export restrictions.”
“As part of our listings, we are targeting those responsible for the deportation and forced adoption of at least 6.000 Ukrainian children,” the foreign affairs chief said.
The measures also list 47 electronic components that Russia uses in its weapons systems, such as drones, missiles and helicopters, meaning the combined raft of 10 sanctions packages will ban all tech products used in the development of military-grade weapons.
Seven Iranian companies linked to the Revolutionary Guard that manufacture the drones Russia has been using to bomb Ukraine have also been listed and moves to suspend the broadcasting licenses of the Arabic outlets of state-controlled media groups RT and Sputnik, which are already banned in Europe.
“These outlets are under the permanent direct or indirect control of the leadership of the Russian Federation and have been used by latter for its continuous and concerted disinformation and war propaganda actions, which legitimise Russia’s aggression and undermine support for Ukraine,” the EU Council said in a statement.
The new measures also require EU member states to provide more in-depth reporting on assets that have been seized from Russian oligarchs backing the Kremlin as well as frozen funds from Russia’s central bank.
The Council has also introduced a ban on providing gas storage capacity (except liquefied natural gas facilities) to Russian nationals “to protect the security of gas supply in the EU, and avoid Russia’s weaponisation of its gas supply and risks of market manipulation.”
Finally, although not included in the latest sanctions list, the EU has pledged to work with the G7 to slap sanctions on imports of Russian diamonds.
The group of 27 did not include Rosatom (the Russian state-owned nuclear power company) in the latest measures despite calls from Kyiv to target the energy giant. EFE