The war in Ukraine continues. The sanctions of the European Union, too. The Community Executive yesterday proposed to the governments to prolong the restrictive measures adopted against Russia in retaliation for the war for another six months and to broaden their scope to also veto imports of Russian gold.
"Moscow has to continue to pay a price for its aggression," stressed the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in a statement. The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, announced that he will present new names to add to the list of people close to the Kremlin sanctioned by the EU.
Brussels' proposal to also penalize gold, which will be examined on Monday by the Foreign Ministers of the Twenty-seven with a view to its adoption, responds to the agreement reached at the G-7 in June and includes some more measures to improve the application of the six rounds of sanctions adopted so far, hence this one is presented as "maintenance and alignment".
The European Commission wants to tighten controls on exports of advanced technologies that can have both civil and military use, while reinforcing information obligations in order to more easily reach the assets of the oligarchs and various personalities who support the war of Vladimir Putin. Although assets valued at tens of millions of euros were frozen during the first few months, the process has stalled due to difficulties in proving who their owner or ultimate beneficiary is.
On the other hand, the European Commission has issued a series of clarifications addressed to international economic and financial operators to make it clear that the EU sanctions "are not directed in any way against agricultural products" that Russia sells to third countries. The proposal also clarifies how to apply financial sanctions so that no one stops buying food due to payment problems and explicitly authorizes transactions with Russian state companies if they affect agricultural products.