“Russia will pay for its cruelty”: Europe at work on a new package of sanctions

(ASI) Brussels – The European Union is preparing further restrictions on the Russian Federation. In particular, there are measures against individual state officials, a ban on the export of specific goods, limitations on the banking system and the blocking of some television stations.

The decision comes almost a year after the start of the dramatic war in Ukraine. According to Brussels, in all this time not only has Moscow never shown itself willing to open a serious negotiating table, but it has even chosen to tighten the tone by hitting defenseless citizens. “Russia continues to bring death and devastation to Ukraine. You are deliberately targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, trying to paralyze the country in view of the cold season ”said the president of the European Commission last December 7.

For Ursula von der Leyen, the Kremlin’s tactic of destroying Ukraine’s food reserves and bombing the electricity grid in the midst of freezing winter is a sign of unacceptable cruelty. A brutality that the Union is determined to fight with the weapons of sanctions. First, nearly two hundred people and entities will be added to the already massive individual restrictions blacklist. These are members of the armed forces, representatives of defense industrial companies, members of the Duma and the Federation Council, ministers, governors, political parties. “The list includes key figures in the violent and deliberate rocket attacks against civilians, the deportation of Ukrainian children and the theft of agricultural products,” explained von der Leyen.

Secondly, action will be taken against other Muscovite credit institutions, with the aim of “further paralyzing Putin’s financiers”. The main target this time will be the operation of the Russian Regional Development Bank. The bank was founded in 1996 by the powerful state oil company Rosneft, whose CEO is the influential oligarch Igor Sechin, a loyalist of Putin. The giant, with 10,000 corporate customers and 314,000 private customers, is at the top of the list of international traders of Russian fuel. It subsidizes numerous state-owned companies that import and export goods and services and cooperates with banks in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. It has 56 offices, 1,000 ATMs, 7,000 POS payment terminals, 295,000 active bank cards. It also boasts important collaborations with groups Visa International And MasterCard.

The package will then focus on blocking the export of goods that could be used for war purposes. The president of the Commission spoke of “dual-use products”, or rather “chemical substances, nerve agents, electronic and IT components essential for the Russian war machine”. Not only that: von der Leyen mentioned drones and unmanned aerial vehicles. In this regard, the sale of drone engines to third countries suspected of supporting Moscow will also be banned. The direct reference is to the Iranian regime, recently accused of supplying the Kremlin with armaments.

But the conflict in Ukraine is not fought solely with bombs. In the technological age we live in, it is also a war of propaganda and false information spread by both traditional media and popular social networks and internet sites. For this reason, after the blocking of “RT” and “Sputnik”, the Union is preparing to censor four other Russian television channels and web pages in Europe. “We will target Moscow’s propaganda machine,” promised von der Leyen.

The new package of sanctions – the ninth – follows two significant measures that have recently entered into force in Europe. At the end of November, member states reached an agreement on the import ban of Russian oil transported by sea. Furthermore, the G7 heads of government have set the ceiling on the global price of oil at 60 dollars a barrel. Two provisions capable of deeply affecting one of the most important sources of wealth for the Muscovite state coffers.

Therefore, the level of hostilities between East and West rises more and more. The latest package of restrictions was only adopted by the Union in October, in retaliation for the illegitimate referendum under which the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson were annexed to Russian territory.

On that occasion, state officials, members of the Ministry of Defense and the Army directly involved in organizing the popular consultation were blacklisted. Brussels has banned the export to Russia of civilian firearms, ammunition, military vehicles and equipment along with spare parts, electronic components, chemicals used in Russia’s war industry, as well as goods and raw materials used in the military sector. aviation. With regard to the ban on imports from the Kremlin, Europe has targeted a vast range of goods such as steel products, machinery and industrial vehicles, paper, plastic, cigarettes, metals and precious stones for the manufacture of jewellery, raw materials useful for manufacturing of cosmetics, footwear, fabrics and ceramics manufacturing. The eighth package prohibited European companies and bodies from providing Russia with services in the fields of architecture and engineering, as well as from offering IT and legal advice. Finally, the measure warned European citizens against holding positions within entities or organizations owned or controlled by the Russian state.

Marco Lifting – Italy Press Agency

“Russia will pay for its cruelty”: Europe at work on a new package of sanctions