EU, UK Impose New Sanctions on Putin’s Regime

Published: 24 February 2024

Stop War UkraineNew EU and U.K. sanctions against Russian regime mark the second anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo: Matti Karstedt, Pexels, License)

By Zdravko Ljubas

The European Union has unveiled its 13th package of restrictive measures targeting the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose invasion of Ukraine is soon entering its third year.

This time, the sanctions were imposed against 106 individuals and 88 entities responsible for perpetuating what the statement of the Council of the EU described on Friday as an illegal, unprovoked, and unjustified war of aggression.

Those designated will be subject to an asset freeze, while EU citizens and companies are now prohibited from providing funds to them. Additionally, sanctioned individuals will face a travel ban, preventing them from entering or transiting through EU territories.

The EU is “further tightening the restrictive measures against Russia’s military and defense sector, targeting further entities in third countries who supply equipment, as well as those responsible for the illegal deportation and military re-education of Ukrainian children,” Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said.

This includes suppliers from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and members of the judiciary, local politicians, and individuals responsible for the illegal deportation and re-education of the children.

Most of the companies and institutions were already on the sanctions list, but measures against them have been strengthened. However, the Council added 27 new entities for their direct support of Russia's invasion, subjecting them to stricter export restrictions on dual-use goods and technologies, as well as items that could enhance Russia’s defense and security sector technologically.

Some of these entities are situated in third countries, including India, Sri Lanka, China, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Thailand, and Turkey, and have been implicated in evading trade restrictions. Others, according to the statement, are Russian entities engaged in the development, production, and provision of electronic components for Russia's military and industrial complex.

The 13th package also broadens the scope of restricted items that could bolster the technological capabilities of Russia’s defense and security sector by incorporating components for the development and manufacturing of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Additionally, it imposes further restrictions on the export of goods that specifically contribute to the enhancement of Russian industrial capabilities, such as electrical transformers.

Borrell emphasized that the EU remains unified in its determination to weaken Russia's war efforts and support Ukraine in its rightful struggle for self-defense, as well as to restore its independence, territorial integrity, and sovereignty.

The latest EU decision also ropes in the United Kingdom, aligning it with a consortium of partner countries that are imposing stringent measures on the import of iron and steel from Russia. This move bolsters a unified front against Russian aggression, signaling a synchronized effort in curbing the inflow of materials vital to Russia's military-industrial complex.

The U.K. on Thursday took a firm stand against Putin’s belligerence, unveiling a robust package of over 50 new sanctions aimed at individuals and businesses “sustaining Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine.”

The sanctions aim to disrupt the flow of supplies to Putin’s arsenal, including munitions like rocket launch systems, missiles, and explosives. They also target key sources of Russian revenue, such as metals, diamonds, and energy trade, to cut off funding for Putin’s war effort, according to the U.K. Government statement.

“Our international economic pressure means Russia cannot afford this illegal invasion. Our sanctions are starving Putin of the resources he desperately needs to fund his struggling war,” Foreign Secretary, David Cameron said.

The U.K. has also introduced its first sanctions strategy, outlining how the government will be using sanctions as a foreign and security policy tool.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials have initiated on Friday the world’s first open database of foreign equipment used by Russia in the creation of its armaments.

The database’s “Tools of War” module has already documented over 270 pieces of diverse foreign equipment, according to the country’s National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP).

It includes comprehensive details on the brands of foreign equipment still being brought into Russia, specific machine models, Russian weapon manufacturers and their utilization of foreign equipment, the resultant lethal products, as well as the suppliers and importers involved.

To date, both the EU and the U.K. have individually imposed sanctions on over 2,000 individuals and entities for their roles in undermining or jeopardizing the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence of Ukraine.