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Bloomberg: EU aims for 13th Russia sanctions package in February

by Martin Fornusek January 19, 2024 4:39 PM 1 min read
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and President Volodymyr Zelensky give a joint press conference following their talks in Kyiv on Nov. 4, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Illustrative purposes only) (Anatolii Stepanov/AFP via Getty Images)
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The EU began discussions on a new sanctions package, hoping to approve it on the second anniversary of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, Bloomberg reported on Jan. 19, citing anonymous sources.

The European bloc adopted its latest 12th sanctions package in December 2023, which included a ban on Russian diamonds, a crackdown on Russia's means to acquire military-use goods, tighter controls over the $60-per-barrel oil price cap, and further steps targeting Moscow's revenue amid the all-out war.

The discussed 13th package could encompass further individual listings, stricter trade restrictions, and more measures against dodging sanctions via third-party countries and European companies, Bloomberg wrote.

According to the news outlet, there are also ongoing talks on restructuring the European Peace Facility (EPF), an EU tool used for channeling military support to Ukraine.

Since decisions to allocate and disburse funds under the EPF require unanimity, some members reportedly worry that Hungary can keep delaying or obstructing the process, as it had done in the past, Bloomberg.

The EPF was launched in 2021 to finance common foreign and security policy actions related to military and defense. In particular, this tool allows us to finance non-EU partners in pursuit of joint peace and security building.

The European External Action Service, the EU's foreign affairs agency, suggested an annual budget for the EPF of 5 billion euros ($5.4 billion), but the proposal has not gathered unanimous support. Officials are to present member states with new options, sources told Bloomberg.

Military aid to Kyiv should be on the agenda during the upcoming European Council Feb. 1 summit. The meeting should also address the allocation of 50 billion euros ($54 billion) in four-year funding for Kyiv, a proposal blocked by Hungary in December.

Brussels already signaled that a deal on funding Ukraine might be reached even without Hungary's approval.

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