EU Approves 11th Sanctions Package Against Russia Despite Greek and Hungarian Resistance
The governments of the European Union agreed on Wednesday to an 11th package of sanctions against Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine. The aim is to halt other nations and companies from circumventing existing measures, Reuters reported.
Greece and Hungary had initially stalled the sanctions package, objecting to the inclusion of some of their companies on Ukraine's list of war sponsors. According to the agency, Ukraine has removed five Greek shipping firms from its list of war sponsors, winning the support of Athens.
Hungary endorsed the new sanctions, despite OTP Bank, a Hungarian entity, remaining on Ukraine's list. Budapest stated that it would revisit the issue later.
The new package, published by Sweden as EU president, forbids transit through Russia of an expanded list of goods and technologies that could aid the Russian military or security sector.
Diplomats highlight the novelty of restrictions on the sale of sensitive dual-use goods and technologies to third countries, which could then sell them to Russia. The names of such countries can be added to the annex of the EU sanctions regulation by unanimous agreement of all 27 members. In addition, the sanctions package includes, among other things, restrictions on the import of Russian pipeline oil and control over vessels entering European ports.
In the coming months, a proposal from the European Commission is expected regarding the use of Russian assets frozen in the European Union for Ukraine's reconstruction. Ursula von der Leyen, the Commission's president, announced on Wednesday at an international conference in London that the proposal would be presented before the summer holidays.
At this two-day conference on Ukraine's reconstruction, attended by 60 countries in the British capital, western allies of Kyiv reiterated that Russia should pay for the damage inflicted on its neighbour.
"The aggressor must bear responsibility," stressed von der Leyen.
However, a ceasefire in Ukraine is not enough for European officials who desire enduring peace in the region, she told CNBC in an interview.
"We clearly understand that we don't just want a ceasefire and a frozen conflict in regions of Ukraine, because those regions will always be fragile. No investments will go there, and the conflict can flare up at any time, as we learned from 2014. So it has to be real peace," von der Leyen said on the sidelines of the conference dedicated to Ukraine's reconstruction efforts.
It is worth noting that the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced at the conference credit guarantees of $3 billion over three years. In its turn, the European Union announced that it would provide Ukraine with €50 billion ($54.58 billion) in aid between 2024 and 2027.