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EU Approves 12th Sanctions Package Against Russia with Diamond Restrictions

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Photo: EU Approves 12th Sanctions Package Against Russia with Diamond Restrictions. Source: Pixabay
Photo: EU Approves 12th Sanctions Package Against Russia with Diamond Restrictions. Source: Pixabay

On Monday, December 18, the European Union Council approved the 12th sanctions package against Russia in response to its military aggression against Ukraine. A key element of the new package is a ban on the direct or indirect import and transfer of diamonds from Russia. This prohibition, agreed upon at the "Group of Seven" level, will take effect on January 1, 2024. Restrictions on Russian diamonds processed in third countries will be enforced from March 1 to September 1, 2024, according to the EU Council statement.

Among other restrictions in the new sanctions package, EU exporters, on a contractual basis, will be prohibited from re-exporting secret goods and technologies to Russia when entering agreements with third countries. The list of prohibited goods for export and re-export to Russia includes chemicals, lithium batteries, thermostats, direct current motors, servo drives for drones, machine tools, and parts of machinery and mechanisms.

Import restrictions from Russia also cover cast iron and pig iron, copper and aluminium wires, foil, pipes, and rolled products with a total value of 2.2 billion euros annually. Additionally, there is a ban on the import of liquefied propane, with a transitional period of 12 months.

A separate section of EU sanctions in the 12th package focuses on strengthening existing restrictions. This includes extending the ban on transit through Russia for military goods and prohibiting Russian citizens from holding positions in the governing bodies of European legal entities providing cryptocurrency services. The ban on providing certain types of services to individuals from Russia is also extended to include the provision of software for business management and industrial design and production.

The 12th package also enhances requirements for compliance with the "price ceiling" for oil to better identify vessels and entities assisting Russia in circumventing these restrictions, known as the "shadow fleet." Companies in the EU selling tankers to third parties are now required to report such transactions to the EU.

Furthermore, Switzerland will join restrictions on the import of iron and steel from Russia and a set of import control measures practically equivalent to those of the EU.

The new sanctions package also expanded individual sanction lists, adding 29 new entities directly supporting Russia's military-industrial complex, including individuals and legal entities from third countries.



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