Earlier today the European Union announced a new round of sanctions against Russia following the Informal Summit of the EU heads of government at the end of last week. The sanctions prohibit transactions with Russian state-owned businesses, prohibit investment in the Russian energy sector and tightens export restrictions on an expanded list of Russian oligarchs.
“As President Putin’s war against [the] Ukrainian people continues, so does our resolve to support Ukraine and cripple the financing of [the] Kremlin’s war machinery,” EU High Representative Josep Borrell said in a press release. “This fourth package of sanctions is another major blow to the economic and logistic base upon which Russia relies on to carry out the invasion of Ukraine. The aim of the sanctions is that President Putin stops this inhuman and senseless war.”
The European Commission will also join an international statement from World Trade Organization (WTO) countries which condemns the military action and violence from Russia against Ukraine. In their statement they affirmed the EU’s readiness to protect the security interests of the WTO and the EU, which might include helping Ukraine or suspending further interactions with Russia. The EU also moved to suspend the accession of Belarus to the WTO because it helped Russia with its illegal invasion of Ukraine.
This week marks the 8th anniversary of the first sanctions against Russia from the EU in response to the crisis in Crimea in 2014. Since then, sanctions have only grown in response to Russia’s increased aggression against Ukraine.
However the increased sanctions have not come without cost to the EU. Gas prices have skyrocketed as the EU has prevented investment in Russian oil and gas, which the European citizens use to heat their homes and run their gas cars. EU representatives have confirmed that the EU has enough in reserve to get through the remainder of 2022 and that they are working on other ways to acquire the necessary gas for next winter.