The eighth package of sanctions against the Russian Federation may contain restrictions on Russian oil prices, sanctions against individuals, as well as restrictions aimed at the Russian IT industry.
Poland and the Baltic states are actively promoting increased EU sanctions against Russia in response to Vladimir Putin’s decision to carry out partial mobilization and his threats of nuclear war.
According to the Financial Times, EU member states are pushing for tough measures against Russia, including cutting off more banks from Swift and banning diamond imports. They also demand that sanctions be imposed on luxury goods and Russian IT, cybersecurity and the software industry.
However, EU officials said it would be difficult to find consensus among all 27 member states, while Hungary said it did not want any new sanctions at all.
The FT notes that the main goal of the European Commission is to implement the G7 agreement to limit the price of Russian oil.
Therefore, the eighth package of sanctions against Russia is expected to contain rules to limit the price of Russian oil, sanctions against individuals, as well as restrictions aimed at the Russian IT industry, cybersecurity and software development, officials said.
Those countries that are most convinced that the EU should step up pressure on Moscow, including Poland and the Baltic states, have circulated detailed measures that they believe the European Commission should support. Among their ideas are a ban on diamond imports that will hit Belgium, exclusion of more Russian banks from the Swift network, limiting the availability of IT and other services to Russia, and applying the same sanctions against Belarus, which is Russia’s ally in the war against Ukraine.
However, European officials noted that it would be difficult to agree on some ambitious ideas.
“The more you offer, the more reason some EU countries have to become intractable. On the other hand, if there are few sanctions, hawks will say that this is not enough,” the European diplomat said.
Another diplomat said capping oil prices should remain the focus of the new sanctions package while closing loopholes. “There are few goods left that can be restricted as we have basically disconnected from the Russian economy,” he said.
The new round of talks will focus on further sanctions against Russian individuals and entities, as well as possible additional export controls on civilian products, a European Commission spokesman said.
“It would be justified as Russia moves towards a wartime economy,” he said.
New sanctions against Russia
As UNIAN reported earlier, European Union foreign ministers agreed to prepare new sanctions against Russia and increase arms supplies to Ukraine. This happened after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization to begin.
EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell said Putin’s statement, which included moves to annex Ukrainian territories and threaten to use nuclear weapons, showed panic and desperation in the Kremlin.
Meanwhile, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, at a closed meeting with deputies of his party, said that the sanctions allegedly damaged the European economy more than the Russian one. Lifting sanctions will curb inflation and reduce the risk of a recession, he said. Therefore, he called on his fellow party members to do “everything possible so that Europe lifts the sanctions no later than the end of the year.”
Mobilization in Russia and Putin’s nuclear blackmail
On September 21, in his speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of partial mobilization in the country. The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation said that they would send to the war in Ukraine, first of all, citizens with combat experience. According to Shoigu, they plan to call up to 300,000 people.
In a speech announcing a partial mobilization in the Russian Federation, Putin threatened the world with the use of nuclear weapons: “Nuclear blackmail is being carried out against Russia … Everyone who tries to blackmail us in this way should know that the wind rose can turn in their direction.”