EU-27 discuss banning Russian gold imports in next sanctions package

Archive – Russia’s President Vladimir Putin – -/Kremlin/dpa

The European Commission has proposed this Friday to the EU-27 to ban Russian gold imports as part of the new sanctions package that European governments plan to adopt over the next week, in order to maintain pressure on Vladimir Putin’s regime and to align with measures already adopted by G7 partners.

EU Vice-President Maros Sefcovic had already said early on Friday that Brussels was seeking consensus with the EU-27 to restrict gold because «it is an important commodity for Russia’s exports».

«These are tough and forceful sanctions,» said later the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, who stressed that the proposal reflects the «coordinated approach with international partners» and advanced that the EU-27 will also discuss an extension with new names on the list of those sanctioned for collusion with the Russian regime.

In addition to the veto on precious metals, the EU executive wants to strengthen controls on exports of advanced and dual-use technology, as well as to reinforce the information requirements in the tougher application of the freezing of assets to those sanctioned by the EU.

The package also reiterates that the EU sanctions do not in any way target trade in agricultural products between third countries and Russia, the EU services clarify, adding that what will be the seventh round of sanctions will also serve to «clarify the scope» of previous economic and financial sanctions.

Brussels also proposes to extend the current EU sanctions for six months, until the next review at the end of January 2023.

The Commission’s proposal will be on the agenda of EU foreign ministers meeting next Monday in Brussels, although a final decision on the adoption of the sanctions is not expected until later in the week, probably at an ambassadorial-level meeting on Wednesday.

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