EU approves 10th package of sanctions on Russia over Ukraine war

On the anniversary of Moscow’s all-out invasion of Ukraine, the European Union has authorized a tenth set of sanctions against the country, according to EU officials.

The Swedish EU Council Presidency announced the latest round of sanctions in Brussels on Friday evening. They include new trade restrictions on Russia and are intended to make financing the conflict more challenging as well as deprive Russia of technology and spare parts for its weapons used against Ukraine.

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The package includes measures against organizations supporting Russia’s war, such as spreading propaganda in support of the invasion and supplying drones used by Russia to assault Ukraine, as well as tighter export limits on dual-use goods.

“Together, the EU member states have imposed the most forceful and far-reaching sanctions ever to help Ukraine win the war,” the EU presidency announced on Twitter.

“The EU stands united with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. We will keep supporting Ukraine, for as long as it takes.”

The measures are also intended to add more people to the blacklist, such as those who the West claims are propagandists for Russia, those who Kyiv accuses of sending Ukrainian children to Russia, and those who worked on the development of Iranian drones that were used in the front lines of the conflict.

According to the executive of the bloc, the package was also intended to cut off more Russian banks from the global system SWIFT, including the private Alfa-Bank and the online bank Tinkoff, and to reduce commerce between the EU and Russia by more than 10 billion euros ($10.5bn).

Two hours before the clock struck midnight on Friday, after Poland initially put a spanner in the works, negotiators from EU member states managed to come to an agreement on the sanctions.

Warsaw claimed that because of the large number of imports that would be exempt from the proposed limits on EU imports of Russian rubber as well as the lengthy transition periods, they would have no practical impact.

Other EU nations were perplexed by Warsaw’s decision to risk not announcing new sanctions on the anniversary of Russia’s attack against Ukraine over just one component of a larger package. Warsaw is a prominent Russia hawk in the bloc.

Sanctions cannot be implemented unless all member states agree to them, which makes talks among the 27 countries frequently tiresome and drawn out.

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