Seventh Package of EU Sanctions against Russia: EU Council adopts ‘maintenance and alignment’ package
The EU Council adopted further sanctions against Russia yesterday (21 July 2022), following the European Commission’s 15 July proposal (which reflected the output from the recent G7 meeting). The Regulations were then published in the Official Journal here and here.
54 individuals and 10 entities (including Sberbank) have been added to the sanctions list. The reporting requirements have also be updated, requiring sanctioned persons and sanctioned entities with assets in a Member State to report those assets and cooperate with the relevant national competent authority (NCA) in verifying the reported information.
Other key restrictions imposed by the seventh round of sanctions include:
- a new ban on the purchase, import or transfer, directly or indirectly, of gold that originates in, and has been exported from, Russia;
- strengthened export controls on dual use and advanced technology (the EU Council has added to the list of controlled items that could contribute to Russia’s military and technological enhancement or the development of its defence and security sector);
- the widening of the port access ban to include locks;
- the expansion of the scope of the prohibition on accepting deposits to include deposits from legal persons, entities or bodies established in third countries and majority-owned by Russian nationals or natural persons residing in Russia; and
- the addition of a requirement for prior NCA authorisation in relation to the acceptance of deposits for non-prohibited cross-border trade between the EU and Russia.
Certain exemptions and derogations have been clarified or added:
- a further derogation from the asset freeze and the prohibition on making funds and economic resources available to designated persons and entities where necessary to urgently prevent or mitigate an event likely to have a serious and significant impact on human health and safety or the environment;
- to combat food and energy insecurity (a key focus area for both the Commission and the EU Council), an extended exemption from the prohibition on engaging in transactions with certain Russian state-owned entities regarding transactions in agricultural products and the supply of oil and petroleum products to third countries, and a related derogation from the asset freeze and the prohibition on making funds and economic resources available to designated banks;
- a derogation from the asset freeze and the prohibition on making funds and economic resources available for the orderly wind-down of operations, including correspondent banking relationships, with one designated bank (Sberbank)
- permission to share technical assistance with Russia in relation to aviation goods and technology within the specific framework of the technical industrial standard setting process of the International Civil Aviation Organization;
- an exemption (where necessary to ensure access to justice) from the prohibition on entering into any transactions with Russian public entities;
- clarification that none of the financial sanctions imposed in response to the invasion of the Ukraine are designed to (a) target trade in agricultural and food products, including wheat and fertilisers, between third countries and Russia, or (b) prevent third countries and their nationals operating outside the EU from purchasing pharmaceutical or medical products from Russia.
For more information, please get in touch with any member of our Sanctions and Export Controls Group, or your usual Arthur Cox contact.
“Today, we are taking another important step to curtail Russia’s capacity to continue and finance its war of aggression against Ukraine. We are effectively banning Russia’s most significant export after energy – Russian gold. We are also extending the exemption of transactions for agricultural products and transfer of oil to third countries.”
Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy