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Von der Leyen: EU to issue 'warning' to countries helping Russia evade sanctions

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 15, 2023 8:21 PM 2 min read
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a press conference ahead of the G7 Summit in Japan, at the European Council in Brussels on May 15, 2023. (KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)
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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has confirmed that the next sanctions package over Russia's invasion of Ukraine would include measures against third countries helping Moscow to evade existing restrictions, Euronews reported on May 15.

The 11th package since February 2022 will mainly concentrate on closing loopholes in imposed measures used by Russia to circumvent restrictions, in particular, to import banned goods through third countries.

According to von der Leyen, the planned measure is "basically a warning that we are serious about our sanction that we could ban these goods from going to that third country if there is clear evidence that this is a circumvention of sanctions and deliveries to Russia."

The sanctions package, which is now being discussed by EU member states, may also expand the list of EU goods prohibited from transiting through Russia, the official said.

"We see a discrepancy between what starts in the European Union, transits Russia, and ends up in the third country. And therefore, we are discussing as a deterrent the question of whether there should be such a transit ban," von der Leyen told reporters, as cited by Euronews.

She did not specify how exactly this mechanism would work, adding that there are "several watch points" to confirm the need for restrictions.

On May 4, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the issue, that the European Union was discussing a sanctions mechanism aimed at deterring nations from helping Russia and cutting off trade channels that Moscow could use.

According to Bloomberg, Russian imports of goods such as semiconductors and integrated circuits from countries like Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and China have increased dramatically since the start of the full-scale war in Ukraine.

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